BEIJING: China’s Li Haotong surged to victory in the China Open on Sunday, the second successive home winner of the tournament.
The 20-year-old shot a flawless 64 at the Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing, finishing 22 under par. He is the second Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil.
He sank eight birdies on Sunday and the current world 237 could leap more than 100 places in the rankings, according to the European Tour website. Li finished sixth in the event last year.
“The start of this year has given me a lot of hard times,” he said in comments posted on the tour organisers’ website. “Even though I worked hard I still played badly, especially last week. I worked hard there and couldn’t control my ball.”
He carded 69-67-66-64, notching up an aggregate score of 266 to finish with a three-shot lead on the par-72 course.
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar came in second with 269 while Richard Bland of England, Germany’s Marcel Siem and Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard all tied for third with 270.
Bjerregaard, who was leading the tournament going into today’s play, only shot one birdie to fall behind Li. Aguilar held a two-shot lead at the turn with four birdies, but Li made gains on the third and fifth holes.
Aguilar finished just a shot ahead of Bland, Siem and Bjerregaard.
Last year’s winner, Wu Ashun, was tied for 60th, shooting 286, and veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez tied for 21st place with 276.