Aditi Ashok overcame a mid-round crisis to stay in the hunt for a surprise medal, holding on to the second spot after three rounds of the Olympics
golf competition in Tokyo on Friday.
After rounds of 67 and 66, Aditi fought back from a bogey before and after the turn to card a 68 for a three-round aggregate of 12-under 201.
Aditi is three strokes behind the leader - USA’s Nelly Korda (198) - and two ahead of the quartet comprising New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, Australia’s Hannah Green, Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen and Japan’s Mone Inami.
Meanwhile, Diksha Dagar carded a second straight 72 and moved up two places to tied 51st with 220.
Korda, who shot an Olympic course record of 62 in the second round desspite a double-bogey on the final hole, found pars on the last 10 holes for a 69.
Aditi looked in great touch as she birdied the fourth, sixth and seventh holes. But a dropped stroke on the ninth pulled her down.
After another bogey on the 11th, Aditi steadied herself three successive pars. Birdies on the next two par-4s - 15th and 17th - ensured she remained second after 54 holes.
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“I think a lot will happen on the final day. Although it's just one round, it feels long mentally, so definitely staying patient and hoping we have good weather. Hope I play well tomorrow (Saturday),” said Aditi.
“I think nobody really follows golf as much. And whenever the Olympics comes around, it's always because we have a lot of sports where we were
actually really good, like hockey, where we used to win gold medals all the time. "With golf being held for the second time (in succession), I feel people are trying to follow it a lot more,” she said.
Talking about the pressure that accompanies the front-runners after 54 holes, Aditi said, “For sure (there will be pressure), but I'm not thinking about it that much."I think no matter how I do this week, people have heard about golf and they continue to tune in if they have extended the golf coverage in India because I’m in the top-three."I think that’s good. People watching golf, instead of the other sports, it's always good to get more people aware of the game.
“A lot of people are trying to figure out golf and top-3 and trying to figure out what would win a medal. I think it's really cool that golf is in the Olympics and we have that chance. Otherwise not many peoplewould pay attention to golf."
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