2016 was definitely the year of the Indian sportswoman. PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar and Sakshi Malik all embody this statement.
But there is one 18-year old, who for her teenage years, has taken massive strides in the world of women’s golf, a bastion generally dominated by the men in India unlike badminton or gymnastics.
In fact, Aditi Ashok’s season has been so good that she ends 2016 as second overall in the world on the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit, behind Beth Allen of the United States who has played three more tournaments than Aditi.
Aditi did one win category on the LET though. The Bangalorean was the runaway winner in the Rookie of the Year category, the prize money that she earned in 2016 more than double that of the next highest, Nuria Iturrios of Spain. Iturrios finished 10th on the LET Order of Merit 2016.
After turning pro at the beginning of the year, she finished 77th at the New Zealand Women’s Open where she failed to make the cut. The only other event where she would miss the cut this year came at the Women’s British Open, where she finished a tied 124th.
At the 2016 Olympics, the 18-year old had two solid rounds of 3-under before falling away drastically, finishing tied 57th. Aditi was ranked 498th in the world at the time.
Post Rio, the Bangalorean has just lit up the tour, snapping up seven top-10 finishes in her next eight tournaments. Her win at the Ladies Indian Open made her the first Indian women’s golfer to win a LET tournament.
She followed that up with a stunning win at the 2016 Qatar Ladies Open, and ended the year on a high, finishing tied-third at the Dubai Ladies Open.
She finished the year, ranked 113th, but it is important to remember that no one in the top 100 has played less than 28 tournaments. Aditi, in contrast, has just played 19 tournaments which counted for LET ranking points.
If her 2016 was anything to go by, the 18-year old is well positioned to take the world of women’s golf by storm.
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