Jersey City (New Jersey), June 5
India's Aditi Ashok logged her third successive Top-5 finish in strokeplay events on the LPGA as she finished tied fourth at the Mizuho Americas Cup golf tournament.
Olympian Aditi ended two shots behind the ultimate winner, Rose Zhang, who grabbed the title in her maiden tournament as a professional. Zhang shot 70-69-66-74 to be 9-under and beat Jennifer Kupcho (71-70-69-69) on the second playoff hole.
Hae Ran Ryu was third, while Aditi, Japan's Ayaka Furue (69) and Korea's Eun Hee Ji (71) were tied for fourth.
Aditi, who started the day at 9-under and tied second after the third round, twice reached double digits under par and was very much on course to a maiden win as she was also tied for the lead more than once.
Then came a nightmarish stretch with four bogeys in a span of seven holes from the ninth to the 15th. That saw her crash to six-under. A fightback with back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th got her to 8-under but even at tied third, she was running out of holes.
Aditi was 8-under and tied third at the 18th tee, but a bogey on that dropped her to 7-under and tied fourth as Hae Ran Ryu (70) was sole third.
After just three bogeys over the first three days, Aditi dropped twice that number on the final day against four birdies.
Aditi now finished tied-second (T-2), T-5 and T-4 in her last three strokeplay events on LPGA and she is already in the Top 20 of the Road to CME Globe (Order of Merit) and should be ranked higher than her previous career-best 49th in world rankings when the new list comes out in a day.
Zhang, who had no birdies on the final day, bogeyed the fourth to drop from 11-under to 10-under and then dropped a shot on the 18th to fall to 9-under.
Jennifer Kupcho, who started the day at 6-under and then rocketed to 10-under with birdies on the second and sixth and an eagle two on Par-4 seventh saw her get to 10-under alongside Aditi and Zhang.
Then Aditi fell back but Zhang held on for pars till the final bogey. Kupcho bogeyed ninth and 12th but had a birdie in between on the 10th, though she was unable to find any birdies over the last six holes.
Zhang and Kupcho went into a play-off at 9-under and both parred the first extra hole. On the second Kupcho found trouble and Zhang calmly two-putted for par as Kupcho failed to do so giving young Zhang a win in her first pro start and immediate membership to LPGA.