‘When you work hard…sometimes you get there’

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Aditi Ashok in action on the final day of the Olympic women's golf competition at Tokyo 2020 on Saturday.
Aditi Ashok in action on the final day of the Olympic women's golf competition at Tokyo 2020 on Saturday.

It is never easy to open up after a tough day on the golf course, especially after missing out on an Olympic medal by a whisker. Like the poise she displayed through the week at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, Aditi Ashok took the questions on the chin.

Also Read: Fret not Aditi for you have stoked a fire

Excerpts:

Tough luck. You tried your hardest all day. Didn’t quite go your way. Just sum up the day for us.

Aditi: I didn’t really drive the ball very good and then it’s hard to get birdie putts or hit greens when you’re not in the fairway. So, yeah, that was definitely the hardest part to make a score today.

You were well within that race for the top 3. The 15th hole perhaps that is where things slipped out and then the 16th Lydia again had a bogey.

Aditi: Yeah, 15 was okay, it was nothing, I mean I was just scrambling, I was in between clubs so I hit one more and it went over. But I don’t think it was that bad. I still made a par, so it’s fine. But just generally like 15 also I missed the fairway so I was just missing so many fairways. The front nine I just hit one and I think the back nine I must have hit maybe a couple more, maybe three or four more. So that was what was bad today, kind of put me out of position so I couldn’t get close to the flag.

I’m sure you would be focused here, but almost all of India was watching golf at 3 in the morning today. What were your emotions going into the round today?

Aditi: Going into the round I didn’t think about it much, it was fine, but obviously coming in I tried my best to like hole the last few putts and just knowing because in a regular tournament whether you finish second or fourth it really doesn’t matter, no one cares. But like at this event you need to be in the top 3. I didn’t leave anything out there, I think I gave it my hundred percent, but, yeah, fourth at an Olympics where they give out three medals kind of sucks.

Talk about the putt on 17 and the 18th hole?

Aditi: Yeah, 17 was perfect. I hit it exactly the speed I wanted, the line I wanted, I just — maybe I made too many through the four rounds, golfing gods were like, okay, we’re not going to give her this one. But no, I just tried my best, even the last hole, although it was really out of range, it was almost a long putt, but I still tried to give it a chance. So yeah, I think I gave it my best attempt.

Are you conscious of the fact that a lot of Indian sporting legends have also finished fourth at the Olympics?

Aditi: No, I didn’t know that actually obviously now that I’ve joined that not so — you don’t want to join that club. But yeah, I guess I’ve joined it. But no I think it’s good, just even top 5 or top 10 at an Olympics is really good. Because you know that sport or that person has a medal chance. So just having more top finishes, even if it’s not exactly a podium finish, will maybe bring eyes to the sport and more support, more kids pick up more, whatever, that helps grow the game.

 

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What was going through your mind on the last hole?

Aditi: 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.

 

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Can you share a message of inspiration for youngsters back home in India to pick up golf perhaps after your performance this week?

Aditi: Yeah, sure, obviously 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.

Text: IGF

Photo: Sundeep Verma