Indian golfer Aditi Ashok carded a flawless five-under 66 in the second round of the women’s competition at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
The 23-year-old rolled in five birdies, which included three in her last four holes, on yet another steamy day at Kasumigaseki Country Club to lie tied-second on nine-under 133 with the Danish duo of Nanna Koerstz Madsen (64) and Emily Kristine Pedersen (63).
Aditi, playing her second Olympics, with her mother, Maheshwari, as her caddie, trails leader — world no.1 Nelly Korda of USA — by four shots.
Korda (67-62) was 11-under after 17 holes and looked set for a historic sub-60 score of 59 at the Par-71 course. Diksha Dagar, the other Indian in the field, returned a 72 to share 53rd place on six-over 148.
Aditi came up with with birdies on Hole Nos. 2, 5, 15, 17 and 18.
“The last three holes, I had a couple shots that were just a good number for me and I hadn’t really had any short approaches all day, maybe just a couple,” said Aditi.
“This whole week there’s going to be so many girls making birdies, especially because the weather’s warm and the conditions are favourable,” she said.
“I think whatever holes I get to play, whether it’s 54 or 72, I’m not really going to sit on anything, I’m just going to try and be as aggressive and make more birdies.”
When asked if she thought she could medal, Aditi, who finished 41st in Rio five years back, said, “Oh, yeah, for sure.
“It’s kind of like everyone’s thinking about it. It’s definitely at the back of my mind. But on the course, I’m not really thinking much about it. I’m just trying to hit the best shot I can hit.
“And hopefully people back home are watching it a lot more. I know a few of my friends are staying up to watch, which is cool. Olympics is huge.
“In a regular event people just wouldn’t follow it as much, even if it was a LPGA event or a major. So, yeah, I think the buzz has been good so far.”