12 January 2018: The FBM Ladies Open came to life in spectacular fashion in the third and final round. Aditi Ashok put her early round struggles behind with a mesmerising six-under-66 to force her way inside the top ten at Abu Dhabi. Charley Hull and Marianne Skarpnord jostled for victory like determined pugilists before the formed eked out a narrow one-stroke victory. It was a terrific ending to the first tournament on the Ladies European Tour’s 2019 calendar.
Birdies at the 14th and 15th gave Skarpnord renewed hope but three straight pars from there meant that the momentum she gained midway through the return stretch did not matter in the end.
As Hull reached the 18th tee, Skarpnord was busy signing on her card, lying in wait just one shot adrift of the leader. But Hull remained unfazed, knocking down her par putt to secure a well-deserved wire to wire victory.
Hull ended the week at 8-under 208, with Skarpnord at 207. Caroline Hedwall finished in third place with a final round 67. Anne Van Dam, Nicole Broch Larsen, Luna Sobron and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were all tied with Hedwall at 3-under 213.
Jenny Haglund and Nanna Koerstz Madsen were tied with Aditi a further stroke adrift in the 8th place.
Aditi’s stellar final round effort was the low round of the week. Howling winds made golf incredibly tough during the week before conditions eased on Saturday, allowing for a final flourish from the golfers.
The 20-year-old has been a formidable force on the LET ever since her rookie season in 2016. Even last year, Aditi scored three top ten finishes in just five starts on the European circuit. On Saturday, Aditi made a 66 despite posting a couple of bogeys during the round.
Playing in the final group, Jodi Ewart Shadoff endured a cold putter as she remained stuck on her overnight score of 4-under par. Skarpnord leapfrogged her into second place with a sweetly timed 68.
Aditi began the third round with a pair of birdies, starting at the tenth hole. When she knocked down at the 16th and 17th, she was even with the course, erasing the losses she suffered in a first round 76.
The 100th ranked Indian added four more birdies on her way to the clubhouse to shoot the low round of the week and secure another hard-earned top ten finish.