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Haotong Li fires four Eagles to share lead

China’s Haotong Li fired four eagles in a remarkable third round of 62 in the Saudi International powered by SBIA

China’s Haotong Li fired four eagles – three of which came on par fours – in a remarkable third round of 62 to share the lead with Dustin Johnson in the Saudi International powered by SBIA.
Li opened his round by chipping in for two on the first hole and repeated the feat for another eagle two on the tenth. That took him to four under par for the round, after two birdies and double bogey on the sixth hole on the front nine.
He then finished his round in sensational style with back-to-back eagles, holing out from six feet after a fine tee shot on the 17th and from nine feet for a three on the par five last.
The 23 year old shares the lead at Royal Greens Golf and Country club on 16 under par with World Number Three Johnson, who had held a three shot overnight lead.
Johnson’s round of 65 was relatively straightforward by comparison, though the American did provide some fireworks of his own when he birdied four consecutive holes from the ninth after earlier picking up shots on the second and fourth.
The pair have a five shot advantage on the rest of the field, with England’s Tom Lewis leading the chasing pack after firing eight birdies in his round of 62 to move to 11 under par. A further two shots separate Lewis from New Zealand’s Ryan Fox and France’s Alexander Levy, both of whom signed for rounds of 67.
Player quotes
Haotong Li (62, -16 total)
“I think it’s very, very lucky today. Those eagles, especially last couple shots, was really solid, but except that, honestly, my play, wasn’t that good. But I did make a lot of par putts.

“On the first, that ball, the lie, wasn’t that great, and firm grain. If it didn’t go in the hole, it could have been off the green. It’s very lucky eagle over there.

“On 10, that’s what I wanted to play, that way, but just I felt like I pushed a little bit. Got a lucky bounce, kicked it left and went in the hole, which is very lucky, too.

“On 17, that was a solid shot and I hit when I want there, so six-foot eagle putt was a little bit nervous. Then the last was another lucky bounce there. I mean, off the tee, I drove the bunker about two yards short to carry the bunker, and it bounced over the bunker, which is lucky. I hit it into nine feet, something, ten feet. Yeah, that was solid putt, actually, quite excited on that one.

“I just want to play my best tomorrow, especially compared to last week. So I just have to put myself in the position hopefully often and I get used to that feeling and play and enjoy myself on the final round.”
Dustin Johnson (65, -16 total)
“I thought I played well. I probably played just as well as I did yesterday. I gave myself a lot of opportunities. I made a lot of good putts but I just holed a few more yesterday than I did today. That’s the only difference.

“I heard (about Li’s four eagles) when I got done, that’s pretty impressive. Four eagles in a golf tournament is pretty good, but four in one round, take that any day.

“For me, I just go out and play like I’ve been playing and hopefully can roll in a few more putts and see what I can do. Haotong is a good player. He’s obviously playing well right now. I think it’s going to be kind of a tough match against him tomorrow for the most part, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Complete third round scores (par 70)
194 D Johnson (USA) 68 61 65, H Li (Chn) 67 65 62,
199 T Lewis (Eng) 71 66 62,
201 A Levy (Fra) 69 65 67, R Fox (Nzl) 67 67 67,
202 R Fisher (Eng) 65 72 65, Z Lombard (RSA) 65 67 70, J Hansen (Den) 67 70 65, M Lee (Aus) 69 70 63, S Hend (Aus) 70 63 69,
203 M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 69 71 63, I Poulter (Eng) 68 67 68, G Green (Mas) 68 68 67, S Norris (RSA) 66 73 64,
204 N Bertasio (Ita) 70 70 64, C Paisley (Eng) 66 68 70, R Paratore (Ita) 65 74 65, B Dechambeau (USA) 68 68 68, T Detry (Bel) 68 70 66, R Sterne (RSA) 66 68 70, F Zanotti (Par) 67 66 71,
205 A Rai (Eng) 69 70 66, J Walters (RSA) 66 70 69, M Korhonen (Fin) 68 69 68, M Jordan (Eng) 73 65 67, M Kinhult (Swe) 67 71 67,
206 J Campillo (Esp) 66 72 68, G Bhullar (Ind) 68 72 66, L Gagli (Ita) 67 70 69, A Otaegui (Esp) 69 68 69, J Luiten (Ned) 66 71 69, L Johnston (Sco) 70 66 70, T Pieters (Bel) 63 74 69, Y Miyazato (Jpn) 71 65 70, V Dubuisson (Fra) 72 65 69,
207 V Perez (Fra) 66 70 71, S Horsfield (Eng) 68 70 69, P Dunne (Irl) 68 69 70, J Harding (RSA) 65 72 70, R Rock (Eng) 69 69 69, D Lipsky (USA) 71 67 69, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 68 70 69, A Pavan (Ita) 71 67 69,
208 H Porteous (RSA) 68 70 70, R Langasque (Fra) 67 70 71, M Schwab (Aut) 69 69 70, J McLeod (Aus) 65 70 73,
209 M Southgate (Eng) 67 71 71, B Dredge (Wal) 67 70 72, R Karlsson (Swe) 68 69 72, N Lemke (Swe) 68 72 69,
210 P Reed (USA) 67 71 72, R Macintyre (Sco) 69 70 71, M Kieffer (Ger) 69 69 72, E Molinari (Ita) 69 71 70, T Immelman (RSA) 72 67 71, J Smith (Eng) 69 71 70,
211 A Plant (Eng) 65 74 72, S Manley (Wal) 73 66 72,
212 P Waring (Eng) 69 70 73,
213 J Dantorp (Swe) 69 68 76, B Koepka (USA) 69 70 74, C Sordet (Fra) 71 69 73,
214 N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 70 74,
216 P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 73 76,
** S Garcia (Esp) 69 70 DQ,

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