March 31, 2017: On a weather affected spring day in the Californian desert, Aditi Ashok showed her class with a poised 72 to start her campaign in the first major tournament of the season. The first round of the ANA Inspiration was suspended midway through the afternoon after gale winds made it impossible for playing golf. Karine Icher took advantage of benign morning conditions to fly ahead with a 67.
Michelle Wie showed what she can do with a fine 68, but it was her playing partner that left Rancho Mirage impressed. Lucy Li, an amateur aged 14 fired a memorable 71, playing in the company of Wie. The teenager qualified to play by winning the ANA Junior held her own in the company of Wie, who was also a child prodigy. The 27 year old Wie was only 13 when she stormed on to the scene with a ninth place finish in the tournament.
Aditi is another teenager eager to impress with a memorable rookie season on the LPGA. The girl from Bengaluru turned 19 only a couple of days ago and an even start to the biggest tournament of her young career.
She began her round with a couple of bogeys in the first three holes. It must have been partly the result of nervousness, as she set out on her conquest from the tenth tee.
The determined Aditi wiped the deficit away quickly, posting birdied at the 13th and 15th holes. A third bogey came at the 16th hole, as she fell back into over par territory.
Aditi showed impressive composure from there to keep a clean sheet. She went bogey free from the 17th hole, punctuated by a birdie at the par-3 fifth hole that helped her recover to even terms with the Dinah Shore Tournament Course.
Aditi struck 10 of 14 fairways with an average driving distance of 254 yards. She made 12 of 18 greens in regulation and took 29 putts in her first round.