Saturday, 24 February 2024

SECOND VICTORY | Aditi Ashok wins 2023 Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open de Espana

IANS | Updated on Monday, November 27, 2023 13:15 PM IST
Aditi Ashok wins 2023 Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open de Espana

MARBELLA: India’s Aditi Ashok secured her second victory of the Ladies European Tour (LET) season triumphing by two shots at the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de Espana.

The two-time Olympian had an impressive week where she improved round by round at Real Club de Golf Las Brisas.

After rounds of 69-68-68 on the first three days, Ashok carded an excellent bogey-free 66 on the final day to win with a total of 17-under-par.

“It started out slow, I was missing a lot of birdies for the first six to eight holes,” said Ashok. “I hit it close on seven, after that I felt like I still had a chance. Initially, it felt like I was two shots away the whole time. I’m glad it picked up on the back nine.

“It was a great battle. Anne (Van Dam), when she’s playing good, she can blow the field away and win by five to 10 shots. I knew I had to not stop making birdies and to keep trying.

“Her par when she hit the trees on 15 and my long putt, that switched the momentum a little bit. She is a great player and kept me honest out there.”

Ashok, who was in a tie for second place overnight, didn’t make her first birdie until the seventh but that kickstarted her momentum.

She added two more on the 10th and 13th but it was her three birdies on the trot on 15, 16 and 17 to seal her fifth LET title and her second of the season, after she also won the season-opening event in Kenya.

Ashok continued: “On the front nine I wasn’t hitting it as good, somewhere on the back on 13 when I hit that 8-iron close I feel I made a good swing and it just picked up from there. I made three or four good swings and all of those were in holeable range. I guess the 16th tee shot was the shot of the day.

“One 18, I have struggled with that tee shot and missed it right almost all four days. It was a weird lie in the rough, I didn’t know if it would go left on me, and it did. I was just trying to make sure I had a good look at par.”

Dutch star Anne Van Dam ended the week in second place on 15-under-par after a final round of 68 (-4).

Van Dam, who has won this tournament twice previously, went toe-to-toe with Ashok throughout the final round and had five birdies and one bogey on her scorecard.

“It was a tough day,” said the five-time LET winner. “I was in there all day and it was super close. Aditi just came out and played unbelievably and she definitely deserved to win this week.

“I’m very pleased with my season overall. I came close six times now, I just need to keep working hard and the wins are right around the corner.”

Spain’s Ana Peláez Trivino ended the week in third place after a final round of 68 (-4) which included five birdies and one bogey.

“It was a special week,” said the Malaga native. “I felt like I was ready to compete this week with more passion and calmness than ever. I think I did a really good job on that. Also, a really good week to go into LPGA Q-Series next week. I’m happy overall.

“There were lots of positives, I was very consistent. I’m very thankful for the all the learning experiences that I have had and I’m looking forward to next season.”

Sweden’s Linn Grant and Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley finished in a tie for fourth place on 12-under-par in Spain with Belgium’s Manon De Roey in outright sixth.

Defending champion Caroline Hedwall, India’s Diksha Dagar, Norway’s Madelene Stavnar, France’s Celine Boutier and Spanish amateur Andrea Revuelta ended the week in a share of seventh place on 10-under-par.

In the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol, it was Trichat Cheenglab who came away with the trophy with a tally of 1,966.52 points ahead of Boutier and Dagar.

Cheenglab follows in the footsteps of compatriot Atthaya Thitikul and becomes the sixth player to win both the Race to Costa del Sol and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season.

 

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