Kolkata: Aditi Ashok, who has been the toast of the Indian amateur golf this season, will be hoping to round off the season on a winning note as she gears up to tee off at the Usha All India Ladies Amateur Championships next week in Kolkata on December 10. The 14-year-old, who held her own in a star-studded field at the Women’s Indian Open last week and finished in the top-10, will however need to contend with Gurbani Singh, who has been her arch-rival this season.
The Usha All India Ladies Championships will be held at the Tollygunge Club from December 10 to 16 and it will signal the end of another successful season for Indian amateur golfers.
In the first round, Aditi plays with Millie Saroha and Dolma Rawat while Gurbani Singh is drawn with Seher Atwal and Astha Madan. In another interesting pairing, Ridhima Dilawari plays with Tvesa Malik and Raksha Phadke. Amandeep Drall will tee off with Nanaki Chadha and Siddhi Kapoor.
The Aditi-Gurbani contest through the season has been very keen and clash at the Usha All India Ladies will also decide which way the Order of Merit goes. With top six results counting towards the Order of Merit in all Categories, Gurbani (320) is leading in Category A by a big margin over Millie Saroha (300). Aditi is head and shoulder above the rest in Category B. Aditi has 340 points to second placed, Ridhima Dilawari (266). But in combined Category A & B, Gurbani has a clear edge over Aditi with their points tally standing at 314 for Gurbani and 295 for Aditi.
However, in the Ladies Order of Merit, Gurbani (291) is just one point ahead of Aditi (290) with Mille Saroha third at 247.
Though the younger Aditi has made a mark at all levels, Gurbani will start with a slight edge of playing in her home town and at a course, where she shot a stunning record-breaking 64 during the Usha West Bengal championships, which she won by a huge margin.
This season Gurbani has been in excellent form winning the Usha Southern India and Usha Western India titles and she also topped the Usha West Bengal Ladies Open. Aditi, though she is the defending All India Ladies champion, has been able to win only at the Usha Delhi Ladies and Army Ladies titles. In terms of the four major regional events, Gurbani has won two, while Millie Saroha won the Usha Northern Indian and Amandeep Drall grabbed the Usha Eastern India Ladies. Internationally Aditi has had a lot of exposure and has also played very well in the pro events, while still being an amateur.
Interestingly, Aditi, Gurbani and Millie made the cut at the Indian Open, where the field had leading players from Europe and Asia. Aditi, who shared the lead after the first round, finished tied eighth, while Gurbani was tied 45th and Millie was tied 62nd.
The All India Amateur Ladies golf dates back to 1906 and it is now more than 100 years old, though the event was not held a few times in the 1940s. It is one of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the world the biggest one in the region.
In 2011, Aditi Ashok beat Vani Kapoor in the 36-hole final. Since then, Vani has turned professional. Millie Saroha and Ankita Kedalya, being the losing semi-finalists. Gurbani, Amandeep Drall, Gursimar and Raksha Phadke reached the quarter-finals.
By Indian Sports News Network