Aditi Ashok’s fortunes tumbled on the final day as she carded a five-over 77 to sign off with a silver for India’s first medal in women’s golf at the Asian Games here on Sunday.
Coming into the final day with a commanding seven-stroke lead, Aditi saw the advantage evaporate as she stumbled upon four bogeys and a double bogey against a lone birdie to slip to the second position.
In the forefront for the gold medal after three days, Aditi’s slump also saw the team slip from first to fourth and end without a medal.
India’s other two players, Pranavi Urs (75) and Avani Prashanth (76), also had a rough day in the final round. Pranavi finished 13th and Avani was tied 18th.
In the men’s section, Anirban Lahiri (65-67-74-68) was tied 12th while SSP Chawrasia (67-72-68-75) dropped to tied 28. Khalin Joshi (70-69-69-73) was tied 27th and Shubhankar Sharma (68-69-76-73) was 32nd.
The Indian men ended seventh as Korea took gold while Thailand were second and Hong Kong third.
It was a difficult day for scoring, as only six players shot under par and only two went into the 60s in the women’s competition.
One of them was the 21-year-old Arpichaya Yubol of Thailand, who like Aditi plays on the LPGA Tour. Yubol shot 68 in the final round and won the gold ahead of the Indian. The bronze medal was claimed by Korea’s Hyunjo Yoo (65) who had the best round of the final day.
Asked what her medal means for golf in India, Aditi said, “I do think it means something for golf, and hopefully, it gets more support and recognition back home in India.
“Even the women’s team, I think we finished fourth, one position off from a medal, and that’s all positive.”
She is hoping to translate her Hangzhou Games medal into Paris 2024 Olympics success.
“These type of events are so different from regular golf tournaments. Just being able to have a good performance, living in the athletes’ village, playing on a course I’ve never played before … hopefully having this experience will translate to something good (in Paris), too,” she said.
Having enjoyed a fine run in the first three days, Aditi faltered when it mattered the most. She started the final day with a clear lead of four shots but missed multiple putts to squander the advantage.
On shooting 77 in her final round, she said, “It wasn’t a good day. I played bad. There’s no way around saying it. But overall if I look at my four-day score it’s pretty good. Seventeen under at the start of the week I would have taken that.
“It’s just that when you shoot five over on the last day it doesn’t feel as good.
“You’re never totally happy unless you win so I’m not too happy right now. I’m sure some day I’ll look back and think it was a good week but silver is not better than gold.
“When I got fourth in Tokyo (Olympic Games) I wasn’t inconsistent like today. There, it was just four good rounds and somebody else was a few shots better. Today I kind of threw it away.”