New Delhi, October 2: Luck deserted Aditi Ashok when she needed it most as she hit a double bogey on the 16th hole, not only to surrender her huge lead but also the expected gold and had to content with a silver in women’s individual golf at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Sunday.
Though Aditi earned the distinction of being the first Indian woman golfer to win a medal at the e Asian Games, but it was a poor consolation as she was expected to earn historic "yellow medal,' give her first three rounds. Heading into Hangzhou India had won six medals - three gold and three silver - at the continental meet but all had come through men’s golfers.
Aditi, who agonizingly missed out on a podium spot at the Tokyo Olympics two years back, carded five over 77 in her last round for a tournament total of 17-under 271 (67-66-61-77) to secure her silver medal at the West Lake International Golf Course. The gold went to Thailand’s Arpichaya Yubol, who notched up 19-under 269 (67-65-69-68). Korea’s Hyunjo Yoo won the bronze with 16-under 272 (68-73-66-65).
Aditi was brilliant in the first three rounds and after a sensational 11-under on Saturday, she went into the final round with a healthy seven-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard.
All eyes were on The 25-year-old Bengaluru golfer who looked unassailable in form and was expected to take the top podium place but it was not to be as she endured a disappointing day on the greens and squandered her lead to Yubolk after a double bogey on the 16th hole, where she hit one in the water.
It turned out to be a case of "so near yet so far "as Aditi who carded just a single bogey in her first three rounds combined, hit four bogeys and a double in the fourth round alone. Her poor last round also dented India's chances of a team medal as it finished fourth
Pranavi Urs finished 13th in the women’s golf tournament with four-under 284 while Avani Prashanth was T18th with three-over 291. The trio’s combined score of 22-under 554 placed India fourth in the women’s team golf event at Hangzhou 2023 behind Thailand, Korea and China.
The Indian men’ meanwhile, had a disappointing outing in Hangzhou.
Olympian Anirban Lahiri (14-under 274) finished T12th and was the best-ranked Indian in the men’s individual event. Hitesh Khalin Joshi (seven-under 281) came in at T27 followed by veteran SSP Chawrasia (six-under 282) at 29th.
Subhankar Sharma (two-under 286) was 32nd. India finished seventh with a total of 830 in team even.