Golf: India’s Aditi Ashok storms to victory in 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open

Two-time Olympian Aditi Ashok shot a final round one-over 74, which was enough to help her triumph at the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open.

Nairobi:  Two-time Olympian Aditi Ashok shot a final round one-over 74, which was enough to help her triumph at the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open, winning the tournament by nine shots and secure her fourth Ladies European Tour (LET) title.

Aditi produced a wire-to-wire victory at Vipingo Ridge where a round of 74 (+1) on the final day was enough for the win. It was a tough afternoon for the 24-year-old as she made three bogeys and two birdies on day four, but Ashok had put in the hard work earlier in the week to win.

“It has been a great week, it’s proof to myself that my off-season and hard work has paid off,” said Ashok, who had come close to winning a medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 finishing fourth in the women’s individual stroke play event.

“It was just hard to get that shot out of my mind, I think that hole [the eighth] doesn’t suit my eye so I didn’t play it that well today, but after that, I think I got back into my rhythm and just kept hitting fairways and greens. I think in the last few holes, I didn’t make many good swings but it’s okay, I guess,” said the 24-year-old golfer.

“That was cool to have the giraffes there, it’s definitely different and part of the experience of playing in Kenya. It was cool to see giraffes – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them that close before,” Aditi was quoted as saying in a release by the LET.

It is Aditi’s first trip to the winner’s circle on the LET since the 2017 Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open and she paid tribute to father Gudlamani, who was on the bag once again, as well as to her team back at home.

She added: “It was good to have my dad on the bag – three of my wins have been with him caddying, but not just him there’s my mum back home and I have worked a lot with my coach and my fitness team.

“All of us have put in a lot of work over two months just to get back to my original strength level and this is the first week I’ve felt like I’ve been back to where I was a couple of years ago which is pretty good,” said the golfer from Bengaluru.

England’s Alice Hewson and Thailand’s April Angurasaranee finished in a tie for second place on three-under-par in the LET season-opener.

LET winner Hewson, who finished 12th in the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol, ended her week with a round of 72 (-1) to move up the leaderboard and into the runners-up spot.

Thailand’s Angurasaranee has a difficult final day carding a round of four-over, but it was still enough to finish T2 and have an excellent start to her rookie year on the LET.

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