Reigning Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open Champion Aditi Ashok is back in Abu Dhabi this week aiming to defend her title whilst inspiring more Indian girls to take up the game of golf.
“It’s great to be back in Abu Dhabi and especially Saadiyat Beach Golf Club; it’s such a fantastic course,” said the three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner. “No golf course is easy but Saadiyat Beach rewards good shots and is a very scoring course. You’ll find a lot of players finding the greens but it’s the player who holes the birdie opportunities that will enjoy the best week. My putting was on form last time I was here and hopefully, I can bring that into this year’s event.”
Ashok rose to fame in 2016 when she became the first and only Indian golfer to compete at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro as well as winning two LET titles in her Rookie season at the Hero Women’s Indian Open and Qatar Ladies Open. The then 18 year old ended the season ranked second in the Order of Merit and was named the LET’s Rookie of Year which has helped Indian children take up the sport, especially with Shubhankar Sharma being named the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year as well.
“It’s great to be able to inspire youngsters to get into golf by being out on the LET and LPGA Tour’s, it shows them that anything is possible,” she says. “To represent India at the Olympics was something I will never forget and has definitely been the highlight of my career. People that didn’t even like golf or hadn’t heard much about it were watching it on TV because I was competing. It opened up a lot of opportunities for golf in India and the game has really grown in the last five years which is great to see. Seeing inspired youngsters back home is the best part of my job and I’ll be forever grateful for being able to represent my country around the world.”
Spectators can catch the action for free, 10th-12th January at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on tournament days. For further details on the FBM Ladies Open, visit www.fbmladiesopen.com or follow Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open on Facebook and @FBMLadiesOpen on Twitter and Instagram.