25 August 2019: The chips seem to be stacking up nicely for Aditi Ashok. The embattled Indian golfer has endured a rough season on the LPGA Tour, but her troubles may be at an end. The golfer from Bengaluru fired an impressive six-under 66 on Saturday to move inside the top ten in the CP Women’s Open. Jin Young Ko and Nicole Broch Larsen enjoy a two-stroke advantage going into Sunday, with Brooke Henderson tapping on their heels at 16-under through 54 holes.
Broch Larsen shot a third straight 66 while Ko and Henderson made the day’s best score of 65. Henderson was two-over through seven holes but egged on by a young fan, the American marched into contention by going nine-under through her final eleven holes. The highlight of her round was an eagle at the 12th hole.
“It was a little bit of a struggle there. I felt like I was playing decent golf. Just wasn’t really going my way,” said Henderson. “Then on the seventh green, a little boy gave me a high five and then he continued that the rest of the round. I think starting at the time he kind of cheered me up a little bit. I think I tried to get back to even on the front nine. Going to eight tee, I was trying to just make two birdies, get it back to even and then see if I could go really low on the back, which I did.”
Aditi, seeking her first top ten finish of the season, produced some scintillating golf on Saturday. The Indian burnt the course at the bend, slicing five strokes in four holes on the back nine. She made three straight birdies from the 11th before stamping her authority with an eagle at the 14th.
She was eight under as she reached the 17th before a poor tee shot, a rare lapse on a brilliant day, cost her dear. Aditi conceded a double bogey on the 17th, and it was the only hole where she dropped shots in an excellent third round effort.
The US Solheim Cup lineup will be decided at the end of Sunday, making for an intense finish to the CP Women’s Open. With the eighth slot on the team up for grabs, Amy Olson bolstered her chances with a 68, reaching Sunday at T5. Also in contention are Angel Yin (T8), Brittany Altomare (T22), Ally McDonald (T45) and Annie Park (T49). Juli Inkster, the American captain also has a pair of wild-card spots in her hands.
But on Sunday, Ko will be shooting for a fourth win of a prolific season. If she does manage to achieve success, she will emulate Lydia Ko, who won four times in 2016, the last woman to do so on the LPGA Tour. On the other hand, Broch Larsen is looking to become a first-time winner, and the sixth woman this season to do so.
Brooke Henderson could become just the third golfer in the tournament’s history to successfully defend her title, joining Lydia Ko (2012 and 2013) and Pat Bradley (1985 and 1986).