Sat, 25 Sep 2021

Tokyo [Japan], August 4 (ANI): Five years ago, Aditi Ashok was a wide-eyed teenager enjoying her time amongst the giants of sports and being the youngest competitor in the women's golf competition at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. Fast forward to Tokyo 2020, the Indian has made her intentions clear at Kasumigaseki Country Club as she seeks to win a historic medal for the country.

The 23-year-old Ashok fired a stellar 4-under 67 in Wednesday's first-round played under hot and humid conditions to lie one shot behind leader Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden. She is tied for second with American star Nelly Korda, with three others a further shot back.

"Last time I think it was more just enjoying the experience and staying at the (Olympic) Village, seeing all the other athletes, but this time I think definitely here to have a good finish, hopefully give my best, try and win a medal," said Aditi Ashok in an official release.

"I think having played the Olympics once definitely gets you more prepared, you're not as overawed by it. I mean it's still the Olympics, it's still really exciting, but, yeah, definitely more prepared for this one," she added.

She is keen to create new Olympic memories and asked her mother to be on caddying duties this week, taking over from her father who was on the bag in Rio. If she was a greenhorn all those years ago, Aditi Ashok is now a seasoned competitor on the LPGA Tour and also has two Ladies European Tour victories under her belt.

"My mom, she's caddying for me. Last time I had my dad on the bag, so the experience was just so incredible I was like I want to have my mom next time and I made good on that promise," she said. "This time I think definitely a lot more experience, just playing on the LPGA the last five years has been kind of, makes you way better as a player than I was at Rio. And I think the Olympic experience was, I didn't finish as well as I wanted to, but just seeing the affect that it had on golf in India was inspiring and that's kind of what motivated me for this one as well," said Aditi Ashok, the first Indian to qualify for the LPGA Tour in 2017.

She was in full control of her game until the very last hole when she dropped her lone bogey on 18 after pencilling down birdies on Hole Nos. 5, 9, 13, 14 and 17.

"I think I played better than I expected because I had a lot of hybrids into the greens, so I didn't really expect to be like 5-under through 17. But, yeah, I kind of holed some putts and holed important par putts. It was a good day," she said. (ANI)

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