Indian golfer Aditi Ashok continued to stay in medal contention in the individual event as she was just one shot behind the leader at tied second in the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Friday. In the process, she also kept the Indian women’s team in the race for another medal at the West Lake International course. Aditi (67-66) was one behind Thailand’s Arpichaya Yubol (67-65) while the Indian women’s team is lying third behind China and Thailand. India has never won an Asian Games medal in the women’s section.
Pranavi Urs added a fine 68 to her first round 71 to improve to T-10 at 5-under, while amateur Avani Prashanth (72-69) was T-15.
Things did not go as well for the men, as Anirban Lahiri (65-67) was still T-9, while Shubhankar Sharma (68-65) rose one places to T-21. SSP Chawrasia (67-72) slipped 10 places to T-19 alongside Khalin Joshi (70-69) who rose two places.
The men are placed T-6 in the team standings, which is led by Korea, followed by Hong Kong and Japan.
The fourth-place finisher at the Tokyo Olympics, Aditi improved upon her first round 67 by one shot to add a 66, that included five birdies, an eagle on a Par-4 and just one bogey.
Yubol had rounds of 67-65 for a total of 12-under 133. Yubol was bogey free in the second round.
Aditi had a superb start with birdies on the first and the second holes and then eagled the Par-4 fifth hole to get to 4-under.
The putter cooled off after that and she turned in 4-under. On the back nine, she birdied 11th, 15th and 17th, but dropped her first bogey of the week on the par-3 16th.
Pranavi added a bogey-free 68 to her first round 71 to improve to T-10 at 5-under, while amateur Avani Prashanth (72-69) was T-15.
Avani had one birdie and one bogey on the front nine but had an action-filled back nine with four birdies against two bogeys.
Tied with Aditi is Yin Ruoning, the first Chinese player to win on the LPGA who later became the first Major winner from her country.
Yin, a bronze medallist from 2018 Asian Games and World No. 1 till last week, has not dropped any bogeys in her rounds of 67-66.
The three Chinese players, all of whom play on the LPGA Tour, occupy three of the Top-5 positions with Lin Xiyu (67-67) fourth and Liu Yu (67-68) fifth.
Aditi’s fine round of 66 also took India up into the third place, behind favourites China (21-under) and Thailand (20-under).
The Indian team is at 16-under with Japan close behind at 15-under. Korea (11-under) are lying fourth and Chinese Taipei (10-under) Each day, the top two scores from each team are counted towards team scores and for India, both days the counting scores have come from Aditi and Pranavi.
In the men’s team standings, India is T-5 but are 18 shots behind firm favourites Korea, who are fielding two PGA Tour players, Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim.
Korea are way ahead at 45-under. Interestingly, Korea’s two amateur players Jang Yubin (T-2) and Cho Wooyung (T-3) have outdone their better-known professional colleagues. The Hong Kong men’s team, spearheaded by the amazing 22-year-old Taichi Kho (62-60), at 38-under is second but seven behind Korea.
Japan (35-under) and Thailand (31-under) are third and fourth, while India (27-under) is a distant sixth.
In the men’s individual section, Taichi Kho at 22-under leads by six shots and the first round leader, Jang Yubin (61-67) at 18-under is four behind. Thailand’s Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (67-63) was third at 16-under. Lahiri is the best Indian at 12-under.
Lahiri had six birdies against just one bogey, but that did not seem enough as he slipped slightly on a course, which has been yielding low scores. (Medals Tally | Asian Games 2023 Full Schedule)
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