Coming back after a three-week break, Aditi Ashok got off to a flying start with a card of four-under 68 in the first round of the Cambia Portland Classic.
Rookie Aditi had five birdies, including three on the back nine for the 68 that placed her tied-8th and just two shots behind the leader Korea’s In Gee Chun on a crowded leaderboard.
Aditi, who last played at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the beginning of August, was in great form especially with her approach shots.
Despite finding only eight of 14 fairways, she reached 17 greens in regulation, but she then needed 31 putts in the round. It was a round that could easily have been 2-3 shots better.
Meanwhile, Korea’s In Gee Chun shot 6-under par and Lexi Thompson, who was 5-under par through 12 holes, looked like going better but he made a double bogey on the par-4 17th to finish at 4-under 68.
Chun is looking for her first win of the season after four runner-up results, and six top-three finishes in 2017.
Chun had just one bogey against seven birdies. She is sixth on the Race to the CME Globe. She is one shot ahead of six golfers at 5-under, including Nasa Hataoka, Nicole Broch Larsen, Cindy LaCrosse, Moriya Jutanugarn, Cheyenne Woods and two-time defending champion Brooke Henderson.
Ten golfers, including Aditi, were a shot further back at four-under including Thompson, looking for her second win of the year.
As many as 18 golfers are at three-under par through Thursday’s first round and that includes Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Karine Icher, Mel Reid, and Gerina Piller.
Stacy Lewis is one of 19 golfers at 2-under par. She had announced prior to the start of the tournament that she would donate 100 per cent of her winnings from this week’s event to the flood relief efforts in Houston.