Aditi Ashok from India shot a third-round 10 under par 62 at the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Aicha Tour School Final Qualifier on Sunday to set a new women’s course record at at Samanah Country Club in Marrakech, Morocco.
The 17-year-old amateur from Bangalore fired 11 birdies and one bogey on her last hole to finish the day at 17 under par, a single stroke behind the leader Karolin Lampert from Germany, who shot a 66 at Samanah.
Ashok’s 62 equalled the men’s course record and was just a stroke shy of matching the Ladies European Tour’s all-time record of 11 under par for 18 holes, held by six players. However, with seven birdies on the front nine she joined 36 others who hold the record for the lowest nine holes.
“This is my best score ever. I’ve shot eight under twice so this was really good,” said Ashok, the world’s 13th ranked amateur, from Bangalore Golf Club.
“I started with three birdies, which was a good sign and then I made a par and three more birdies. A couple of those, five and six, were shorter putts, within five feet. The ninth was within a foot. I would say my putting was really good on the front nine and I holed a lot of 10 footers, like on the first, second and third, which helped with the momentum. The back nine, it started getting trickier because of the wind. I didn’t have that many birdie opportunities and I struggled for par on a few holes but I gave myself chances and birdied both the par fives, so that was good. I wish I hadn’t bogeyed 18 but that’s fine.
“I actually didn’t want a five on my scorecard, which is why I was so happy when I birdied 16, because that was a four. Then I made a five on 18, so that was a little irritating, but 16 was important and after 16 I wanted to par 17 and 18, but I hit a really good shot on 17 and got a birdie, so that was good.”
The field of 115 players from 35 countries is split over two courses for the first four rounds and Justine Dreher of France leads field B, in third position on 13 under par after 54 holes.
Ashok will play her fourth round of the five-round qualifier at nearby Amelkis Golf Club, grouped with Lampert and Daisy Nielsen of Denmark, who is in fourth position at 11 under par.
After the fourth round on Monday, there will be a cut to the leading 60 players and ties and the top 30 players and ties after Tuesday’s final round at Samanah Golf Club will earn LET Membership in Category 8, known familiarly as earning a ‘full card.’
Like Ashok, Lampert coped well in the breezy conditions. The 20-year-old from Schwetzingen, who has played two seasons as a professional, said: “I made again seven birdies, only one bogey, so I was really happy. Even if I missed a green I was able to save par. I don’t miss any fairways really, which makes the whole course a little easier. If the putting works like it did the last couple of days, well that’s a reason why I’m playing well.
“I saw the scoreboards and Aditi was very low from the start. Right from the beginning she made some birdies but because she didn’t play right in front of me I didn’t see her. But I saw her name up there. We’ll be playing together tomorrow so we’ll see how it is. I’ll keep focusing and playing my own game. It’s not about shooting six or seven under every day, but if it stays like that it’s nice. I’ll just keep focused and not look at the other scores. It’s shot by shot. If I win, that’s a bonus, but I want to finish somewhere in the top. Even if I’m top five I’m pretty satisfied.”