Aditi Ashok, ranked 200th in the world, is only three shots behind top position Nelly Korda from the U.S. to three rounds of golf for women at the 2020 Olympics, but the 23-year-old Indian is not so crazy about looking at the rankings that could be the most important day of her career.
‘I think I saw the rankings a bit on the top nine, and then on the back, when I made some bogeys, I just kept away from it, just trying to get back in position myself and not too much. to have extra thoughts, ‘said Ashok, who scored a 3-under-68 on Friday to climb to 12-under in the independent second position. ‘But yeah, I saw the leaderboard at 18 and I looked like I had third place twice behind, so yeah, but when I’m there, I’m looking at it, otherwise I’re looking at more on Sunday than the other days . “
Ashok says she is amused at how interest in India has been aroused since golf was re-introduced at the 2016 Olympics, where she made her debut and was in the top-10 after two rounds, before coming to 41st place. .
“I think no one follows golf that much. It’s not that they know about it and it does not follow, it’s just that they do not know much about the sport to know that a major is more sought after than the Olympics. “And when the Olympics always happen because we had a lot of sports, where we were actually very good, like hockey, where we always won gold medals,” said Ashok, who believes that many more people followed golf this time. she was in the top -3 right from the first round in Tokyo.
Ashok missed out on much of the competition in the middle of the year after catching up with Covid, believing the resulting loss of power made her more focused on her short game during this week.
“I’ve never been so short. I was always short, but not like 50 behind Nelly and 50 behind Nanna. It was not much, but yes, I think, apart from the distance this year, it was the best that I still had my short game, my game, the rest of my game was fantastic, except for the length this year, I think it was one of the best years, ‘she said.
In the last five years, Ashok achieved significant success on the Ladies European Tour (LET) for the first time, winning three titles between 2016 and 2017, and has been a regular LPGA ever since. Earlier this year, she took part in her 18th career major at the Evian Championships Anirban Lahiri, the former record holder for India, and says that her recent form has given her reason to look forward to Tokyo.
‘I mean a major is always difficult because it’s hard to score when you hit it so short in a major, but the other events, yes, especially at Dow [Great Lakes Bay Invitational, where she finished T-3rd], because we had the four-ball where I played my own game, and I knew I was playing well, because in the four-ball I also contributed birds. So it was definitely in the right direction, and this week it got really good. ”
Another switch from Rio was the choice of her parent as a caddy. Mother ‘Mash’ is in Tokyo, with father Gudlamani, who can follow her on TV this time for once.
‘It’s not like my dad tells me what to do, but even though I know what I’m doing, because I know he’s there, and I tend to trust him and ask him and do everything. go, ‘Ashok said.
‘I think this week I know my mom probably won’t be able to help that much with the decision making, but I know I need to commit to everything I do. but I think it’s better to be definite than to be correct while playing golf, as long as you believe in your club or in your decision, you hit a good shot and that’s something I did this week. “
The weather forecast for the weekend currently looks uncertain, and if golf is turned off with just three rounds, India will get a silver from one of their youngest participants in a sport that is not as popular among the masses as most not from the others. . However, the source of the unlikely medal is not too bad about what lies ahead.
“Yes, I think another day of golf and a lot happens on the last day. Sometimes the last day, even though it’s just one round, feels mentally long, so stay patient and hope we have good weather and hope I do well. play tomorrow. “
(With input by Charlotte Gibson)