Aditi Ashok, who became the identity of Indian golf, qualified for Paris Olympics

Long a face of Indian golf, golfer Aditi Ashok has qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, France. Her journey has not been easy, Aditi Ashok has been a trailblazer for women’s golf in India since turning professional in 2016. She has won a silver medal at the Asian Games 2023, won Ladies European Tour titles and regularly participated in the Ladies Professional Golf Tour. Born in a middle-class household in Bengaluru, Aditi Ashok was first attracted to golf at the age of five when her attention was drawn to the lush green course at the Karnataka Golf Association.

Born on 29 March 1998, Aditi Ashok became a prominent figure in sports after achieving notable victories for India. Combining her studies at Bengaluru’s renowned Frank Anthony Public School with her passion for the sport, the Indian golfer began practising regularly at the course and playing in local tournaments. Aditi Ashok won her first state-level trophies, the Karnataka Junior and South Indian Junior Championships, in 2011 at the age of 13. She also won the National Amateur title that year. Aditi soon rose to fame as a young player by winning the National Junior Championships in the next three years – 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and winning both the junior and senior titles in 2014.

She became the only Indian golfer to play at the Asian Youth Games in 2013 and the Youth Olympics and Asian Games in 2014. Aditi Ashok’s impressive amateur career reached its peak when she won the Ladies British Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2015. She turned professional on 1 January 2016. Just six months later, she made history at the Rio Olympics. Aditi became the first Indian female golfer to play at the Summer Games and was also the youngest participant in the women’s event at the age of 18. While Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia were well-known and established professionals in India, very few people had heard of Aditi Ashok in the golfing community.

So, it was indeed remarkable that she had led the way in the second round of the Olympic Golf Course for a short time, more so as she was ranked 57th out of 60 players in the tournament. But a lack of experience at Rio 2016 saw Aditi Ashok eventually finish 41st out of 60 golfers. The Bengaluru girl, who plays the sport as a hobby, won her second title at the Qatar Open a week after her first and won the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year award for her impressive performance. In 2017, Aditi Ashok touched many new heights in the sport, most notably being the first ever Indian representative on the LPGA Tour.

Aditi’s stature has grown further after her commendable performance at Tokyo 2020. She was in the medal race till the final round of the golf tournament at Kasumigaseki Country Club. However, two years later, Aditi Ashok made it to the podium at a major multi-sport event by winning a silver medal at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou. She also became the first Indian woman golfer to win a medal at the Asian Games. Earlier in the year, she won the Magical Kenya Ladies Open for her fourth Ladies European Tour (LET) title. The Indian golfer is a regular at the women’s majors and will look to rule the golf course in the times to come, given the challenges and expectations that lie ahead after her commendable performances at Tokyo 2020 and Hangzhou 2023.

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