ROYAL BIRKDALE, 23 July 2017, (HK Golfer News Wire) - Li equalled the lowest round final round in Open history, achieved on only three previous occasions including last year by Henrik Stenson, with a spell-binding closing stretch on his Open debut to finish on six under par 274.
“It's kind of a dream come true, you know,” he said. “I definitely got a lot support from China, from my friends, from fans, you know, just keep behaving myself and play some decent golf. I think it was just more a mental thing. When I had bad shot, I just always tell myself, hang on in there and try to hole the putt. Glad to see I holed everything,” he smiled.
This is the best ever finish by a golfer from China in a Major tournament. Liang Wen-chong previously finished tied eighth at the 2010 US PGA Championship.
“I first started watching The Open when Tiger was around. I always wanted to play The Open and to play so good means a lot.”
Li started the day at one over par after opening rounds of 69, 73 and 69 and got his round going with consecutive birdies on the eighth and ninth holes. He moved to two under par with a third birdie of the day on the 12th and then mounted a grandstand finish with four closing birdies to set the clubhouse target which for a while at least looked as if it might be enough.
Ultimately, Li’s round was bettered by Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar but playing partner, two-time Champion Golfer of the Year Ernie Els, described it as every bit as good as the record-breaking 62 the South Africa’s compatriot, Branden Grace, had recorded the previous day.