Haotong Li will be hoping to find the same golfing magic that saw him seal this year’s coveted Omega Dubai Desert Classic in his first appearance at The Masters this week.
The 22 year old was on fine form on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club as he edged out former World No.1 Rory McIlroy to claim his second European Tour title earlier this season. Now China’s top ranked star will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Danny Willett and Sergio Garcia who went on to win at Augusta National in 2016 and 2017 respectively after lifting the Desert Classic in the same season.
“Hopefully I can make it three in a row,” said the World No.42 Li. “I’m going to give it a good go and try and shoot the lowest score that I can.”
If Li was to secure an iconic Green Jacket, not only would he become the third Desert Classic winner in a row to lift The Masters but he would also make his way into the history book by becoming the first Chinese champion of the first Major of the year.
“It would mean so much to me if I were to become the first Chinese player to put on the Green Jacket” added Li. “It would be so awesome. I always used to watch The Masters growing up so to be playing in my first ever one is a dream come true.
“I remember watching Bubba hitting that awesome shot from the trees onto the green to win the playoff to secure the title. That was one of my favourite memories from Augusta.”
Li is grouped with 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples and amateur Joaquín Niemann for the first two rounds with his first round kicking off at 8:10pm Thursday 5 April. The Desert Classic conquerer will no doubt learn a thing or two from playing with a past champion as he looks to seal his own place in The Masters record books.