Aditi Ashok made her best start of the season with a bogey free five-under 67 to be tied-13th on the first day of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. In a season, where she has not been able to find her form, Aditi is now four behind the first round leader, Inbee Park, who had five straight early birdies and shot a 9-under 62. This was Aditi’s first score in the 60s in any first round in 2019 and only the second round below 70 on either of the first two days. She had a seven-under 65 on the second day of the LPGA Meijer Classic a fortnight ago, where she ultimately ended T-36th.
Aditi, in 13 previous starts in 2019, had made only five cuts and four of the finishes have been between T-30 and T-39th with the best being T-30 at Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. She opened the day with a birdie on first and then parred the remaining eight to turn in one-under. Aditi then birdied the first four holes of the back nine to get to five-under, but did not add any more. She also did not give away any shots to finish 5-under 67.
Park, seeking her 20th LPGA Tour victory and first since early last year, began her birdie run on the second hole of the round that started on No. 10. She also birdied the par-5 18th to make the turn at 6-under 29 and added three birdies on the second nine. Paula Creamer, Carlota Ciganda and Thailand’s Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong were a stroke back. They all shot eight-under 63 each. Ariya Jutanugarn, Annie Parkand and Maria Torres shot 64, while Jin Young Ko opened with a 65.