European Tour

China's emerging star Li beats McIlroy to Dubai title

2018-01-28 16:15
Li Haotong (AP)

Abu Dhabi - China's Li Haotong secured the biggest title of his young career on Sunday, a blistering finish helping him see off the challenge of Rory McIlroy to win the $3 million Dubai Desert Classic.

Li led by a stroke overnight but wobbled in his final round before a strong finish gave him a three-under-par 69 -- secured with a birdie at the last -- for a winning total of 265, 23 under par.

The 22-year-old's score was a new tournament record and it allowed him to win by a shot from McIlroy, who also had a 69 to finish on 22-under, and becomes the first Asian winner of the event.

McIlroy had surged ahead just after the turn but a bogey on the par-4 16th hole proved crucial as he finished on 266.

It was 22-year-old Li's second win on the European Tour following his triumph at the 2016 China Open, and he is sure of becoming the first Chinese player to crack into the top 50 of the world rankings on Monday. He is expected to rise to number 32.

Tyrrell Hatton of England moved to third place with a six-under-par 66 to finish on 268, but it could have been better if he had not hit his second shot into the water on the par-5 18th hole.

He was followed by France's Alexander Levy in sole fourth place at 19-under-par 269.

Leading scores after the final round of the $3 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday at the par-72 Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club:

265 - Li Haotong (CHN) 66-66-64-69

266 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 65-64-68-69

268 - Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 64-72-66-66

269 - Alexander Levy (FRA) 67-67-65-70

271 - Chris Paisley (ENG) 65-69-68-69

272 - Richie Ramsay (SCO) 70-69-69-64, Chris Hanson (ENG) 67-70-70-65, Jason Scrivener (AUS) 70-68-68-66, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-64-70-68, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 72-67-65-68, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69-69-66-68, Alexander Bjork (SWE) 65-68-70-69, Ian Poulter (ENG) 68-70-65-69, Wang Jeung-hun (KOR) 69-66-67-70, Rafa Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 69-69-64-70, David Lipsky (USA) 69-66-67-70, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 69-67-66-70, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 67-70-63-72

273 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 68-69-67-69, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 66-68-69-70, Haydn Porteous (RSA) 66-68-65-74

274 - Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 70-69-69-66, Anthony Wall (ENG) 63-73-72-66, Sam Brazel (BRA) 68-70-68-68, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 67-68-70-69, Dean Burmester (RSA) 67-69-69-69, Thomas Detry (BEL) 68-66-69-71, David Horsey (ENG) 63-70-68-73

Selected others:

276 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 67-69-69-71

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Vote

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.