Anand Datla

Astounding Aditi Ashok sets sail for higher peaks in 2017

Aditi Ashok enjoyed a spectacular rookie season on the Ladies European Tour. She was second on the Order of Merit behind the Player of the Year, Beth Allen.

Aditi Ashok Leading Rd 1 at Qatar

Anand Datla

Dec 14, 2016: In a world of fantasy, Aditi Ashok would be the young princess sending her queen into happy retirement. The teenage wonder from India has taken the golf world by storm with her youthful charm and unbridled aggression on the course. Aditi ended her rookie season lying second on the overall Ladies European Tour Order of Merit rankings, a phenomenal achievement by any measure imaginable.

In qualifying to the Olympics and clinching back to back titles on the Ladies European Tour, Aditi had a season for the ages. Only two women have done better than Aditi – Laura Davies in 1985 and Carlota Ciganda in 2012 are the only golfers to have won the Order of Merit in their rookie season.

The young golfer from Bengaluru ended the season at a career high world No.113, up from 285 at the end of October. It is a staggering 172 place climb, a vertigo inducing feat that is difficult to fathom.

Aditi played a staggering eleven events in twelve weeks through to the end of the season, including a five round marathon in the final stage of the LPGA and Symetra Qualifying School event.

The 18 year old was just two strokes short of a full card to the LPGA Tour, having to settle for a category 17 (partial status) after ending the week at Daytona Beach, just outside the top 20. Her feat also allows her full access to the Symetra Tour, the feeder to the LPGA calendar.

It has been a story of remarkable growth for the Indian golfer who turned pro in January, just after clinching her spot on the Ladies European Tour through another qualifying school event in December 2015.

Aditi’s journey serves to showcase the results of hard work, determination and a hawk like focus over a decade of enormous resilience and unbelievable feats. She won her first big title when she upended the seasoned professionals on the WGAI HWPGT as a precociously talented 13 year old in 2011.

As the year winds down and Aditi celebrates her well-earned break from golf, it is time for us to wonder what she might accomplish next year on the LPGA circuit.

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