Tokyo : Top Indian woman golfer Aditi Ashok, who missed the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday yet created history by become the first from the country to reach this far at the quadrennial showpiece, said that when she had picked up a gold club as a five-year-old, she had never thought it would one day lead her to the biggest sporting stage.Born in a middle-class household in Bengaluru, Aditi got attracted to the sport when she was taken to the Karnataka Golf Association course as a five-year-old.Juggling her studies at the Frank Anthony Public School and her passion for golf, the 23-year-old started regularly training at the course and played at local tournaments.She won her maiden state-level trophy, the Karnataka Junior and South Indian Junior Championships as a 13-year-old in 2011. Soon she went on to win the national amateur title.On Saturday, Aditi was in contention for a podium finish until the 17th hole but dropped out of the medals bracket to eventually finish fourth at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.
She carded 3-under 68 in the final round and had a combined score of 15-under, just one shot off playing for the medal places. She had finished 41st at the 2016 Rio Olympics.On the message she would like to give to aspiring golfers, the 23-year-old Aditi said, “When I started golf I never dreamt of being or contending at the Olympics, golf wasn’t even an Olympic sport. So sometimes you just pick it up and work hard and have fun every day and sometimes you get here.”On what was going through her mind on the last hole, Aditi said, “Not much, actually. 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 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.”