Aditi Ashok – file pic
Ocala, Florida, March 5: Aditi Ashok was just not able to get going on the par-5s, as she dropped both her bogeys on the longer holes and ended the day with an even par 72 in the LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik at Golden Ocala. Aditi, who had two birdies on second and Par-5 12th, dropped shots on Par-5 fifth and Par-5 18th.
It left Aditi in Tied-41st place and five shots behind leader, Nelly Korda, who carried on from where she had left last week. Last week in her first start in 2021, Aditi was T-48 at Gainbridge LPGA.
Korda shot a bogey-free, 5-under par 67 in the first round she now has nine straight under par rounds in 2021 season. Last week Korda won her fourth career LPGA victory and first on American soil at Gainbridge LPGA.
Korda shares the lead with former NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho and Austin Ernst, who shot 67 each. The effort from Kupcho, who shot 67, looked even better considering she played most of the back nine with a migraine that blurs her vision.
The third-ranked Nelly Korda, played alongside her older sister, Jessica, who had a 69 and Jin Young Ko, the World No. 1, who had a 75. Jessica won a playoff to start the LPGA season at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions before Nelly won last week.
Golden Ocala is renowned for having replica holes from famous courses, three of them from Augusta National and two from the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Kupcho, along with her NCAA title at Wake Forest, captured the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019 with a back-nine charge. That day at the home of the Masters included her having to get through one of her migraines, in which her vision suffers.
She said she had three migraines during the offseason and never knows when one is coming. This one started as she was over a shot early on the back nine.
Jing Yan of China and Jaye Marie Green shot 68, and Lydia Ko was in the group at 69 with Jessica Korda.