CHENNAI: Aditi Ashok, like most modern teenage starlets, has a personal blog. While it hasn’t been updated for a while it doesn’t matter. “Aditi (a-di-ti),” she writes in the ‘about me’ section, “is of Sanskrit origin and its meaning is boundless. In Hindu cosmology, Aditi is the mother of gods.”
Just as well because that, perhaps, is the only word to describe Aditi’s 2015 – boundless. She started the year “ranked 300-something (amateur),” she says. “I’m now World No 11.” To cap off a memorable year, she won the Q-School – the first Indian to do so. The win will automatically give her a card for 2016, her debut season as a professional on Tour. After such a rise, there can only be one way to sketch a season.
“It has been my best season. I started by winning the St Rule Trophy in May. Then I won the Ladies British Amateur Strokeplay, Thailand amateur and silver in European amateur. I qualified for my first LPGA event in Malaysia as well as finishing in top 15 of Indian Open. Winning Q-School was the cherry on the cake.”
You get the drift. She made annexing events a hobby but did she have an idea that the stars would align in such a fashion? “I don’t think I could have imagined that. And golf is not a sport where you can expect. I just took each event as it was,” she explains.
But the break she took in the beginning of the year helped. “I got some off time from January to March because of my Class XI exams so I played only one event. So I got time to work during the whole year and I guess that helped me as I practiced and worked on my game.”
Even then, 2016 will be like a new beginning. And given that the local press in Bengaluru have covered her every drive and putt since she was in Class VII – apart from winning locally she started representing the country since she was 12 – there is bound to be some expectation. And pressure. But she downplays it. “I have played a lot of pro meets as an amateur so that gives me hope. And winning Q-School doesn’t mean you have qualified for that card; it means you are in the best position to have that card. Not really (on whether she will be feeling pressure). I just have my own goals and I work towards it every year.”
The new year brings with it a new set of tasks, first of which is her board exams. She says she is nervous but looking at how 2015 panned out, she will do just fine.
Name: Aditi Ashok
Born: March 29, 1988
When did she want to become a professional: Five-and-a-half
School: Frank Anthony Public School