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  Rio 2016: Aditi Ashok shares 7th spot, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn leads

Rio 2016: Aditi Ashok shares 7th spot, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn leads

AGENCIES
Published : Aug 18, 2016, 11:41 pm IST
Updated : Aug 18, 2016, 11:41 pm IST

Aditi Ashok in action during the second round of the women’s golf event in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. (Photo: AP)

Aditi Ashok.jpg
 Aditi Ashok.jpg

Aditi Ashok in action during the second round of the women’s golf event in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. (Photo: AP)

Teen golfer Aditi Ashok fired a flawless three-under 68 to lie tied seventh after the opening round of the women’s golf competition at the Rio Olympics, here on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old from Bengaluru, who won the qualifying finals to earn a full card on the Ladies European Tour this season, picked up birdies on the 2nd, 10th and 14th holes and parred the rests to stay three strokes adrift of the leader.

Aditi had represented India at the Asian Youth Games in 2013, the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and the Asian Games in 2014.

Meanwhile, world number two Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand blasted a six-under 65, showing flashes of the form that won her last month’s British Open. But the strong South Koreans, who qualified four golfers for the Rio Games — more than any other country — remain poised for an expected gold medal run.

South Korean world number five Park In-Bee and sixth-ranked Kim Sei-Young were just a shot back on 66.

The tournament got under way three days after Britain’s Justin Rose won the first men’s gold medal in 112 years in a down-to-the-wire fight with Henrik Stenson of Sweden.

Ariya is seeking to become the first Thai to win a gold medal other than weightlifting or boxing.

“It would mean a lot. The only thing I want to do is make the Thai people proud and happy with me,” she said.

But there is plenty of golf to be played and big expectations back in South Korea, which also is represented by Chun In-Gee and Amy Yang.

All four of the South Koreans are in the world’s top ten.

“Being a Korean woman golfer you always feel that kind of pressure on our shoulders,” said Park, one of the best female players over the past decade, with seven major titles.

“You could feel the nerves.”

But Park and Kim did not show it, both posting bogey-free rounds on a slightly breezy day.

Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro