KUALA LUMPUR: China’s rising golf sensation Li Haotong hopes his life-changing win over Rory McIlroy will pave the way for another title quest at this week’s Maybank Championship in Malaysia.
The 22-year-old became the first Chinese men’s golfer to break into the world top 50 after he edged four-time Major winner McIlroy at the Dubai Desert Classic last week.Brimming with confidence after outclassing the Irishman, the now 32nd-ranked Li is aiming for another good outing.
“Sometimes one week can change everything, sometimes it doesn’t happen. My game is pretty solid, and I’ve been putting well,” said Li, ahead of Thursday’s opening round.“This week I’ll try to save as much energy and have low scores. It’s a little bit warmer out here, but I’ll go out and try to enjoy the pressure. The key is good tee shots and to get low scores.”
In Kuala Lumpur three weeks ago, Li gave Team Asia two-and-a-half points in their 14-10 defeat to Europe at the Ryder Cup-style EurAsia Cup.Top-ranked Henrik Stenson, who played for Team Europe, is expected to contend with Li at the $3.0 million event as he seeks his first individual victory on Asian soil.“Now I would like to get an individual victory in Asia, and this is one of the opportunities,” said Stenson, 41.