Li leads by three going into final day

Li Haotong

China’s Haotong Li (EVS – Outright) has a three-shot lead at -20 going into the final round of the BMW International Open after another solid five-under-par round in Munich.

The 26-year-old started the tournament in brilliant fashion by carding a round of ten-under par on day one – a course record for the Muenchen Eichenreid – to put him in position to challenge for what would be a third European Tour title.

On Friday, he shot a round of 67 and repeated the feat on Saturday to go three shots clear of Belgian Thomas Pieters (11/4) with one day of action remaining.

Li began the day one stroke clear of New Zealander Ryan Fox (10/1) and for the third day in a row, hit an eagle on the par-five sixth.

Saturday’s effort was the most impressive as he chipped in a brilliant shot from 21 yards.

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The Chinese player hit six birdies on the day and could have been another shot clear but for a bogey on the 18th, which means others will still feel they are in contention.

However, the two-time European Tour winner is in great shape for another title, four years after he defeated Rory McIlroy by one stroke in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Li says he is delighted with his form heading into Sunday’s showdown.

“It’s actually a lot [more] comfortable than I thought. Quite surprised,” he said. “It’s just another perfect day for me.”

Pieters is the nearest challenger after some impressive play from the Belgian on Saturday, on the back nine he shot an eagle and three birdies to end on 17-under.

Englishman Jordan Smith (11/2) a stroke further back while Fox and Darius van Driel (28/1) are tied for fourth on 15 under.

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Author: Lucille White