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The 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou have kicked off, featuring a captivating display of golf. India's golf team, comprising seven skilled players - Anirban Lahiri, Aditi Ashok, Shubhankar Sharma, Avani Prashanth, SSP Chawrasia, Pranavi Urs, and Khalin Joshi - is taking part, demonstrating their dedication to representing India in this prestigious competition.
From left- Paramjit Singh (Referee), Khalin Joshi, SSP Chawrasia, Major General Bibhuti Bhushan (DG, IGU), Avani Prashanth & Pranavi Urs
Aditi found herself in a shared second-place position, trailing the Japanese amateur Saki Baba by two strokes after Baba's impressive 65 at the West Lake International course. Meanwhile, Anirban Lahiri, who was also in the second spot heading into the 18th hole, endured a double-bogey that dropped him from 9-under to 7-under, causing him to slip to Tied-ninth.
Among the Indian men, they were collectively tied for fifth, whereas the women secured a solitary fifth position in the rankings.
In the field of Indian players, SSP Chawrasia scored a 67, placing him at T-18. Shubhankar Sharma secured T-22 with a scorecard featuring six birdies and a double bogey. Khalin Joshi, on the other hand, was at T-32. Joshi had an exceptional moment with an albatross on the Par-5 fifth hole, along with four other birdies, but he also faced setbacks with two bogeys and a double bogey on the challenging Par-4 18th hole.
Contrasting with Aditi, the other Indian women players had more modest performances. Pranavi Urs managed a 1-under 71, placing her at T-17, while amateur Avani Prashanth scored a 72, securing T-21. In the team standings for the Indian women, they held the fifth position.
An intriguing competition was unfolding in the men's division, with Lahiri trailing the Korean amateur Jang Yu-bin, who delivered a remarkable performance with 12 birdies and just one bogey on a day marked by low scores and favorable playing conditions with minimal wind and accessible greens.
Aditi, who narrowly missed an Olympic medal by just one stroke in Tokyo two years ago, commenced her campaign with a solid five-under 67. Notably, she was without her usual caddie, her father, as personal caddies were not permitted to carry clubs in Hangzhou.
Starting from the 10th tee, Aditi began with a sequence of seven pars, before picking up a birdie on the 17th hole. She followed this with a spectacular approach shot on the Par-4 18th, resulting in another birdie. Aditi continued her impressive run with birdies on the first, third, and eighth holes, ultimately reaching five-under.
Joining Aditi in a tie for second place were China's Yin Ruoning, World number 13 Lin Xiyu, and 143rd-ranked Liu Yu, all of whom carded 67s. Thailand's Yubol Arpichaya also occupied the fifth spot in this shared second-place position.