Winners’ Circle: Aditi Ashok
Little would one associate India with shining in a sport like golf — but this teen prodigy is here to change that. Taking to the game early on, Aditi Ashok made her way up right till she became the first Indian girl to qualify for an internationally ranked tour (the Ladies European Tour) last year. She even secured a berth at the 2016 Olympics, and though the youngster may not have brought a medal home, she’s working hard to tee off her big win.
Ever since I started playing golf at the age of five-and-a-half, I wanted to take it up professionally. It has been my dream for as long as I can remember. Each day was a different experience and I never got bored of it even as a young child. My journey has been great and I have enjoyed every bit of it.
Making it to Rio has been one of the toughest goals to achieve so far and this required great planning and vision. I was an amateur trying to break into professional tournaments so that I could participate in the Olympics. To have made it there in my rookie season was pretty amazing. I think golf is slowly growing in India and definitely has the potential to be big.
It was a great feeling to have won twice in my first season as a professional on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and it motivates me to do better every day of the week. I continue to work hard, stick to my routines and play my best every time. My goal this year is to perform well on the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association tour), and LET, as well as in the majors.
Life as a golfer has taught me to be honest no matter what, stay calm and patient and live in the present. I admire Roger Federer, because he has been fit throughout his career. I also look up to Annika Sorenstam, because she dominated women’s golf for so long and Rory McIlroy, because he plays aggressive golf.
Success, to me, is commitment. Power lies in the ability to set goals and achieve them. My advice to young girls is — always follow your dreams, work hard and stay committed.