Knowing All about Hunan

Chinese golfer impresses at British Open

Updated:2017-07-24 13:56:25

  Although he didn't win the British Open, Li Haotong's performance left him in some good company on Sunday.

  The 21-year-old golfer from China shot a sizzling 63 in the final round at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England.

  He finished in third place, six strokes behind winner Jordan Spieth of the United States and three behind American Matt Kuchar.

  Li became only the fourth player to shoot a 63 in the final round of a major golf tournament, after Jodie Mudd (Birkdale 1991), Payne Stewart (Royal St. George's 1993) and Henrik Stenson (Royal Troon 2016), according to The Associated Press.

  That 7-under par last round moved Li to six strokes under overall, and after Speith had some temporary trouble, only two shots off the lead at one point.

  The 63 would have tied a record, if Branden Grace of South Africa hadn't set a new record of 62 on Saturday.

  Li's stellar round included seven birdies — four on the final four holes — and only 25 putts.

  "I could see he wasn't backing off," Li's playing partner Ernie Els said. "You see some guys get a little bit scared, but he kept going. So it was really special to see."

  Li, who won the Volvo China Open last year, found similarities to Birkdale with a course he plays in Shanghai, Lake Malaren, AP reported.

  "Unbelievable, actually," he said. "I can't explain. Glad to see I holed everything. So quite happy out there."

  Li shot 82-84 in the last two rounds of the US Open last month in Wisconsin. For finishing in the top four at the British Open, Li earned a place in the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia.