Winning this week at the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I would mean a lot of things to India’s Aditi Ashok, but none more important than qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
The LPGA rookie would also become a winner on multiple tours if she were to be successful this week, and join the list of golfers who have won in their rookie year on the LPGA Tour. Winning this week would see two back-to-back wins for rookies on the LPGA Tour, after Sung Hyun Park won the U.S. Women’s Open last week, once again boasting the impressive strength in depth on the tour.
A three-under-par 68 in her second round, on top of an opening round 65, has Ashok well in the mix heading into the weekend. Having not qualified for the RICOH Women’s British Open, Ashok decided to make the journey to Ohio. Something which the youngster believe is working in her favor.
Ashok said: “This week I wasn't actually supposed to play, so when I came here I just took it kind of easy and I practiced not as much as I would have usually practiced like in the last three or four weeks, and that maybe has kind of helped, just going out there and focusing for a shorter period of time, yeah.
“I knew five girls were going to get the spot (in the British Open), but my goal was just think that you have to be top 5 in the tournament anyway, whether the players ahead of you are already in the British or not.
“Just keep being top 5, because I've been top 10 after a couple days, so this time I was like, okay, I should be closer to the leaders than before, so that was my goal sort of for the tournament and for the British, and it kind of worked out.
“I'm sure I'm in a good spot, but yeah, I will keep watching because I think on this course, the afternoon wave gets it a little easier than the morning sometimes, so maybe there will be better scores.”
For many rookies on the LPGA Tour, it can initially be tough to compete. However, with two Ladies European Tour titles under her belt, Ashok has not taken long to adapt to life on the LPGA Tour.
Ashok said: “The more I play, I feel better to get into a competitive environment because playing and then taking weeks off is hard sometimes, but the more I play, it's better. Obviously last week was just -- I would have loved to have made the cut but just missed it.
“I think just not being able to put good rounds together and four consistent rounds. There has been rounds where I'm going good but then just dropped a few shots. Here a few shots is like 20 girls.
“You have to practice on the course and then you want to practice after your round, as well, but then by the time Thursday comes, you don't want to feel like you've already worked for four days. It's kind of tough to manage that, and I think I've been doing that well.”Having only turned professional in 2016, Ashok could achieve the impressive feat of becoming a rookie winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tour, and all before leaving her teenage years.