Indian golfer Aditi Ashok scored a flawless five-under-66 in the second round of the women’s competition at the consecutive Olympic Games in Tokyo on Thursday.
On another steamy day at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, the 23-year-old incorporated five birdies, which included three in her last four holes, to tie at nine-under 133 with Danish duo Nanna Koerstz Madsen (64) and Emily Kristine Pedersen (63).
Aditi, who is playing her second Olympics, with her mother, Maheshwari, as her caddy, trail leader – world number 1 Nelly Korda of the USA – with four shots.
Korda (67-62) was 11-under after 17 holes and was looking for a historic sub-60 score of 59 on the Par-71 course. Diksha Dagar, the other Indian in the field, returned a 72 to 53rd place on six over 148.
Aditi came up with birds on holes 2, 5, 15, 17 and 18.
“The last three holes I had a few shots that were just a good number for me, and I didn’t have short approaches all day, maybe just a few,” Aditi said.
“The whole week there are going to be so many girls making birds, especially because the weather is hot and the conditions are favorable,” she said.
“I think whatever holes I play, whether it’s 54 or 72, I’m not really going to sit on anything, I’m just going to be just as aggressive and make more birdies.”
Asked if she thinks she can win a medal, Aditi, who finished 41st in Rio five years ago, said: “Oh yes, definitely.
“It’s like everyone’s thinking about it. It’s definitely in my mind. But on the track I do not really think about it. I’m just trying to keep the best I can.
“And hopefully people at home watch it a lot more.
“In a regular event, people would not follow it that much, even if it was an LPGA event or a major. So, yes, I think the buzz has been good so far.”