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Aditi Ashok chooses Indian Open golf over ‘more paying’ LPGA event

Aditi Ashok had a spot at this week’s $2.1 million Blue Bay LPGA at the Hainan Island but he Indian golfer has opted for Women’s Indian Open

other sports Updated: Nov 08, 2017 21:49 IST
Robin Bose
Aditi Ashok is the defending champion of Women’s Indian Open.
Aditi Ashok is the defending champion of Women’s Indian Open.(Getty Images)

Getting better, or as she likes to put it, “investment in the self”, drives Aditi Ashok, and nothing else counts. At the Hero Women’s Indian Open, her status as defending champion mattered more than making money elsewhere.

If she does well at the DLF Golf & Country Club, monetary benefits will follow, but given the uncertainties in golf, one doesn’t know. Aditi also had a spot at this week’s $2.1 million Blue Bay LPGA at the Hainan Island, China, and with no cut applicable, she could have earned much more, but that’s not the way it is for the 19-year-old from Bangalore.

READ | Aditi Ashok wins in Abu Dhabi for her third LET title

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is where she aspired to be and sees herself flourishing now that a foothold’s been secured. A call had to taken, and here she is. This is “home”, where her dreams took flight following the win at $400,000 event last year.

“Playing golf is what I love to do,” said Aditi on being asked how tough it was to play in America without sufficient financial support. “Money (expenditure) is secondary, it always was even as an amateur. Living in India and playing the LPGA is not exactly cost effective, but that’s the way it is. I aspired to be on the LPGA and here I am,” she said.

A price has to be paid for chasing dreams and Aditi is up for it. Regrets, if any, pertain to matters on the golf course rather than off it. “A lot of the girls (on the LPGA) hit it longer; I wish I could pick up some distance.” Fresh from the triumph at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, knowhow of the conditions matter as well, but she’s ready to persevere as it will come with time, be it playing the Ladies European Tour or LPGA.

READ | Aditi Ashok breaks into top 100 of world golf rankings after dream rookie season as pro

These are early days as a professional but the learning curve has been sharp. Playing the Majors this season ranks high in the list of takeaways and though the results were mixed, featuring in all of them remains special.

If the win last week at Abu Dhabi was a result of good ball-striking, putting and her familiarity with the course conditions make Aditi a worthy rival in a competitive field this week.

It was this time last year that “set the ball rolling”, the win at her national Open followed by success at the Qatar Ladies Open. With the endeavour to get better all the time, a repeat could change a lot of things, both on and off the golf course.