Aditi Ashok returned a fluent 5-under 67 to be just one shot behind leader Hannah Green at the LPGA Lotte Championship, putting herself in a great position to go for her breakthrough win on the Ladies PGA Tour.
Nearly 30-mph winds were experienced during the day but both Hannah and Aditi were among those who handled the conditions well. Other than Aditi, the other golfers lying second were Gemma Dryburgh, Hyo Joo Kim, Alison Lee and Jodi Ewart Shadoff. Defending champion Lydia Ko shot 3-under and was tied for 11th.
Aditi, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Games, started 2022 with a couple of superb Top-15 results before slipping slightly. She did make the cut in two of her next three starts, including the first women’s Major of the year, the Chevron Championship, where she ended T-71.
However, in Hawaii, her short game was once again looking great as she had six birdies against a lone Bogey. She picked birdies in a bunch as she had three in a row from second to fourth and then again back-to-back gains on 17-18 and in between she birdied the eighth. Her lone bogey was on 11th.
The addition of a new Hybrid to her bag seems to be working well. She found 12 of the 14 fairways and 12 of the 18 greens. Her short game was superb and she needed just 25 putts to shoot 67. Australian Hannah Green shot a 6-under 66 to take the lead after the first round.
Green had eight birdies, including five on the front nine. She hit 11 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and needed just 26 putts. She has two Tour titles, both won in 2019 at the major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Cambia Portland Classic.
Jennifer Kupcho, who won The Chevron Championship two weeks ago, finished at two-over over after playing holes 13-15 at 4-over par.