India's Ashok hopes Rio attention inspires juniors


RIO DE JANEIRO – Three strokes off the lead through two rounds, India’s Aditi Ashok may not have finished the Olympic competition the way she would have liked, but that didn’t dampen the 18-year-old’s optimism that the event would help grow the game back home.

“Obviously I didn't play as well as I hoped, especially the last two days,” said Ashok, who closed with rounds of 79-76. “But I'm sure there has been a lot of attention on me, so women's golf has become a bit popular. I'm hoping to see it grow in the next few weeks. But I'm sure it's been good.”

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Ashok talked earlier in the week about the potential impact a medal-winning performance could have on golf in India. Even with her tough finish in Rio, Ashok hoped that the interest she created back home would draw more juniors to the game.

“I'm sure I would have helped with creating greater visibility for golf. But going from here, the better I play, the more I'm still going to do that, even if I'm not going to be playing in the Olympics every other week,” she said.

Ashok planned to fly from Brazil to California to play the first stage of LPGA Tour Q-School next week.