Aditi Ashok, ranked 200th in the world, fell agonisingly short of a historic podium finish after four rounds of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics women's golf on Saturday. The 23-year-old Indian, who finished fourth, felt she did not drive the ball well which ultimately led to her slipping on the leaderboard. Nelly Korda of the U.S.A. won gold, Mone Inami of Japan got silver and New Zealand's Lydia Ko settled for bronze.
"I think today I didn't really drive the ball very good, and then it's hard to get birdie putts or hit greens when you're not in the fairway. So, yeah, that was definitely the hardest part to make a score today," she said after the fourth day's play.
Aditi delivered one of the great putting performances to stay in reach. She had a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th that slid by the hole and kept her off the podium by one shot. Asked about the putt on 17 and the 18th hole, she said: "Yeah, 17 was perfect. I hit it exactly at the speed I wanted, the line I wanted, I just -- maybe I made too many through the four rounds, golfing gods were like, okay, we're not going to give her this one. But no, I just tried my best, even the last hole, although it was really out of range, it was almost a long putt, but I still tried to give it a chance. So yeah, I think I gave it my best attempt."
About what was going through her mind on the last hole, she said: "I got a really good lie off the tee, I hit the fairway finally, and then I had a good club in, so it was a good number too, so only then I thought that, okay, I had a chance to make a birdie and I pulled it a hair left, also because there was bunker and water on the right, but still I gave myself a birdie putt and that putt I think, I mean I wanted to hole it and I gave my best attempt, it just, it's hard to force the issue when you're like 30 feet away."
Aditi carded her fourth consecutive round in the 60s, but her three-under 68 was only good enough for solo fourth place at 15-under par 269. "I didn't leave anything out there, I think I gave it my 100 per cent. But, yeah, fourth at an Olympics where they give out three medals kind of sucks."