India’s Aditi Ashok carded a superb nine under par 66 to head the field at the Ricoh Women’s British Open Final Qualifying at John O’Gaunt.
The 18-year-old from Bangalore began her round with a bogey but then fired eight birdies and an eagle to finish three shots ahead of Spain’s Marta Sanz and Annie Park from America.
“It took me a couple of holes to settle,” admitted the Indian who won last year’s St Rule Trophy and Ladies’ British Amateur Stroke Play Championship before turning professional after winning the Ladies European Tour Lalla Aicha Qualifying School in Morocco. “I dropped a shot at the first after hooking my opening tee shot. Then on the third I had to get up-and-down from about 80 yards but after that I played really well.
“The highlight was my eagle on the 15th where I hit a driver and a three-rescue to about 10-feet and I finished with three straight birdies which was nice.
“This is going to be my first Major so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Another of the best rounds of the day came from English Curtis Cup player Bronte Law who used a combination of old and borrowed clubs to card a five under par 70 and share fourth place with American duo Amelia Lewis and Cydney Clanton.
Law lost her own clubs on the trip back from winning last week’s European Ladies’ Amateur Championship in Sweden but she still managed to card five birdies on par-5s and did not drop a single shot which was a lot better than Final Qualifying 12 months ago at Irvine where she was disqualified after inadvertently using a distance measuring device on the course.
“I’m very pleased with that,” she said. “I thought I might struggle without my clubs but played really solid and didn’t drop any shots which I think is the key in an 18-hole qualifier. They are always a bit of a sprint.”
There were a total of 16 places available at John O’Gaunt. Laetitia Beck, Ashleigh Simon, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Vicky Hurst, Wei-Ling Tsu and Lydia Hall all shared seventh place on four under par 71 while Isabel Gabsa, Ann Van Dam, Charlotte Ellis and Mina Harigae were tied in 13th place one shot further behind. Ellis headed the Final Qualifier 12 months ago at Irvine.