India’s Aditi Ashok continued her amazing run but fell one shot shy of winning for the second time in three weeks, finishing behind world number one Lydia Ko in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International.
Aditi, starting the final round two shots behind the leader, shot 4-under 68 and finished 20-under at the USD 5 million tournament. Lydia (68) saved a crucial par on the 72nd to win by one.
The second place meant Aditi now has a win in Kenya, third place in Morocco and second place in Saudi International, to gallop way ahead on the Race to Costa del Sol rankings.
Talking of her excellent start to the season, Aditi said, “Yeah, it’s been a great (start). I think 20-under on this golf course with the wind that we had on some of those days, I think it’s a pretty good score.” She admitted she knew she needed a few birdies over the last few holes.
“Yeah, I knew I needed to make a few birdies. I knew where I stood after 9 when I saw the leader boards. I didn’t do much until 14.
“Yesterday I birdied three of the last four, so I tried to think that it’s possible today, too, and I ended up birdieing two of the last four, which was good.” Aditi, looking for a fast start just did not get it as she had five pars and a bogey in the first six holes. She then found three birdies in a row from seventh to ninth to turn in 2-under.
On the back nine, Lydia birdied three times without dropping a shot, while Aditi birdied 15 and 16 and missed a couple of others. With a par on Par-5 18th, she set the clubhouse target at 20-under.
The last group had Lydia at 21-under with birdies on 10th, 13th and 17th. Lilian Vu was still at 20-under as she had earlier bogeyed 10th and birdied 11th.
Lydia, despite a bad tee shot managed to par the last and stayed at 21-under while Vu bogeyed the last and fell to 19-under, leaving Aditi in second place at 20-under.