July 22, 2017: Aditi Ashok produced a second straight 68 to remain firmly in contention for a maiden title on the LPGA Tour. The girl from Bengaluru went through her round with a serene confidence, taking 34 strokes on either side to stay within one from In-Kyung Kim and three adrift of the leader Nelly Korda.
Aditi’s previous best performance on the LPGA Tour came at the Arkansas Championship this June. Playing in her rookie season, Aditi has been making rapid progress, playing some exceptional golf over the past few weeks.
She finished in T25 in the Arkansas Championship, T29 in the Women’s PGA Championship and T28 in the LPGA Classic.
In her rookie season on the LPGA, Aditi is currently ranked 93rd on the Rolex Ranking and 75th in the Race to CME Globe. Aditi is set to break past the $100,000 mark this week, her current earnings are $98,335
On Saturday in Ohio, Aditi got off to a steady start before gaining her first shot at the seventh hole. The 19 year old returned the favour immediately though and made the turn in an even 34 strokes.
The Indian added birdies at 12, 13 and 17 to finish with a strong flourish and ensure that walked into the dusk in a strong spot.
First round leader Gerina Piller slipped into a tie for third with Aditi after posting 70 in the third round. There are six players tied in third currently including Aditi;s playing partner on Sunday, Lexi Thompson.
“The greens are smaller here, so I’ve just been focusing on hitting more greens because if you hit the green here you pretty much have a makeable birdie putt, so I’ve been focusing on that as opposed to attacking the pins, which I usually do sometimes, and I leave myself short-sided,” she said. “I’ve also been putting well, so that’s what’s worked.”
“This is my first time being in contention on the LPGA, but I’m assuming it’s pretty much the same every tournament you’re in contention. I’ve won a couple times on the European Tour, so I’m going to hope that experience helps tomorrow,” she added. “ It will be a good experience, obviously. I’ve played well this season, but not as well as I would have wanted to, so to be in one of the last few groups on Sunday would be good, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The leader Nelly fired six birdies in a wonderful round of golf that saw her gain a two shot cushion from In-Kyung Kim.
The low round of the day belonged to Lydia Ko and Sandra Changkija. Both women made 65 in the third round, emphasising their desire to compete and not just play bridesmaid.
Lydia is currently placed in T19, eight shots off the pace.