Saturday December 09, 2023

India’s Ashok slams super 61 to put one hand on Asian Games gold

October 01, 2023

HANGZHOU: India´s Aditi Ashok has one hand on a women´s golf Asian Games gold after a blistering round of 11-under 61 on Saturday as world number two Yin Ruoning fell out of contention with a 74.

In the men´s tournament in Hangzhou, Hong Kong´s Taichi Kho, who was 18-under par after opening rounds of 62 and 60, saw his six-shot lead whittled back to three after a 70.

Ashok moved to 22-under for the tournament and has a seven-shot cushion over Thailand´s Arpichaya Yubol, who is 15-under after a third-round 69.

The world number 47 Ashok, who agonisingly missed a medal at the Tokyo Olympics by one stroke, carded nine birdies and an eagle, spectacularly holing her approach shot at the par-four ninth.

But the top-ranked player in the field, China´s Yin, slumped to a two-over par round and gold looks a forlorn hope for the US PGA Champion.

She tumbled down the leaderboard into a tie for ninth, a massive 13 shots behind runaway leader Ashok.

Instead it was world number 13 Lin Xiyu who looks likely to get on the podium on home soil, after her third-round 68 took her to 14-under and into bronze medal position with one round to play.

She has a three-shot buffer to Japanese amateur Saki Baba, who is in fourth place on 11-under after a 68.

In the men´s, rookie pro Kho moved to 24-under par and still in a strong position.

But Hung Chien-yao´s 67 halved the deficit with a round containing six birdies and just one dropped shot for the Taiwanese player, at the par-three seventh.

South Korean amateur Jang Yu-bin is in bronze position on 20-under after a 68 with his US PGA Tour star teammate Im Sung-jae lurking ominously one-stroke back in fourth after a 66.

The world number 27, moved to 19-under but could have really turned the screws and was heading for a round of 64 until a double-bogey at the last saw him slip out of the top three.