Indian golfer Aditi Ashok opened the women’s British Open with a steady one-under 71 to lie tied 22nd at the challenging Carnoustie Links in Dundee.
Aditi, who had finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, scored four birdies against three bogeys and three of those birdies came in a fine stretch between 10th and 14th.
The Indian is four shots behind the three co-leaders – World No. 1 and Olympic gold medallist Nelly Korda, Korean Sei Young Kim and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom.
The trio produced a matching five-under 67 each in the opening round.
Three-time Ladies European Tour winner, Aditi, who qualified for her 19th Major through the Final Qualifying at Panmure Golf Club, showed a lot of maturity and patience, so crucial while playing the Links.
“I played good today, I think I drove the ball well and that was definitely a key to scoring well. I started off good with a birdie on the first as I hit a 7 iron to 10 feet and holed the putt,” Aditi said.
“Had bogeys on 6th and 7th as both drives ended in the pot bunkers, and after that I realised that mistakes are there on this course to be made, it’s just about staying patient and keeping composure and I think I did that well today, even though I had two bogeys I came back from it.
“I had a nice hole out bunker shot on the 10th but the bunker shot was totally about 7 yards so it was like a 20 footer from the bunker. But yeah that was nice to hole that out.”
Aditi, who started the tournament with a birdie turned in one-over after bogeys on sixth and seventh. After the turn she found some rhythm and it helped.
“Then I got into a good rhythm and hit a 5 iron to 12 feet on 13th hole and holed that putt. On the 14th I hit a 9 iron which almost went in the hole I think ended up 4 feet past and I holed that putt for a birdie,” she said.
“Obviously finishing stretch at Carnoustie is pretty difficult but I had a 3 wood coming in to the last 3 holes, managed pars on 16, 17 but bogeyed 18.
“But it was still a good round, I think. The 18th was the second toughest hole on the course. Obviously a dropped shot is never good but I think it was okay.”
Major winner Korda made eight birdies on her way to a share of the lead.
Four players are one stroke back on four-under-par 68 including 2018 Women’s Open champion Georgia Hall, who was joined on four-under-par by Scottish amateur Louise Duncan who carded a round of 68 which included an eagle on 14.
American Andrea Lee and 2021 US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso are also tied for fourth place.
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