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Chinese Golfer Won Unexpectedly, Coming back from a Hard Time
By: Chenyu Zhai
On Sunday, Chinese golf player Li Haotong surprisingly won the BMW International Open by defeating Belgian Thomas Pieters with a 50ft putt in Munich. Li was leading after three rounds completed, and he holed the first play-off hole with a birdie putt, which Pieters missed.
The winner and the runner-up both finished 22 under par. Li missed his birdie on the 18th, while Pieters successfully putted it to force a play-off. Third place belonged to New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, with 20 under par. The highest-ranking British player was Jordan Smith who finished eighth with 16 under par.
This marked the first victory for the world number 281, Li Hongtong, in a four-year time of winning vacancy.
After, Li got emotional, and talked about his consideration of quitting golf.
"I don't have the words to describe right now," said Li, who missed 14 cuts in 2021 and at one stage dropped to 467th in the world.
"Ten months ago, I just literally decided to quit golf, and somehow where I am now, it's just hard to describe. I had no idea I could win this play-off. Luckily things happened for me again.” He said. “I tried to hit a lot of good putts today, especially on the back nine - those three putts, including the last one.
"I already knew it was going to be super tough and I just kept telling myself ‘Hang on in there'. It doesn't matter, win or lose - I just want to play my best out there and luckily I did." He concluded at the end.