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Aditi Ashok gets late invite to Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship

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Aditi Ashok’s big smile radiated when asked about her waterproofs, which will certainly come in handy during Wednesday’s water-logged day at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.

“It’s too hot to wear the waterproofs, so what do you do?” said Ashok, who hoped to walk Miramar Golf Country Club today. The 19-year old from Bangalore, India, just squeaked into this week’s field, finding out on Sunday evening that she was in the tournament – her first appearance of this Asia Swing – following In Gee Chun’s withdrawal.

“I’m just happy that I finally got one because I thought I wasn’t going to get any Asia Swing events, but now I got this one,” said Ashok, who has yet to see the golf course after arriving Tuesday afternoon. “I also got an invite to Malaysia, which was pretty cool and I’m excited about that, because I’ve played on that course a couple times before.”

In her rookie year on the LPGA Tour, where she is only the second full-time player from India, she spent more time on the road than she had ever done during her previous playing career. Looking back at the season, Ashok sees a major silver lining in a year of hard work.

“I was out for almost 14 weeks during the summer, which was new, because I’ve never been away for that long, “ said Ashok, who finished T8 at July’s Marathon Classic for her best showing of the season. “It’s been a different experience, just playing so many events, traveling. And I got to play in all five majors this year, which was a pretty cool experience.”

Ashok became the darling of sports in her home country when she represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and also played full time on the Ladies European Tour. She remains the face of women’s golf in India, though the next generation is certainly nipping at her heels. A record nine players from India teed it up in August’s LPGA Qualifying School Stage I, something which is certainly attributable to the humble young player.

“There’s always been women’s golf in India but it’s never come out like the men’s,” said Ashok. ” So hopefully there will be more girls trying to play internationally, and eventually, when everyone does that, there might be more girls playing on Tour.”

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