Shah Alam, Malaysia, January 9: China’s rising star Li Haotong believes the stage is set for him to take on Team Europe when the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM gets underway on Friday.
The world number 59 announced his arrival on the world stage with a scintillating final round 63 which saw him finish third at The Open last year.
The Chinese, who endeared himself to the local fans by winning his National Open in 2016, is eager to further prove his worth when he tees up for his first team match play event at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Li’s credentials have not gone unnoticed by Team Asia’s Vice-Captain Zhang Lianwei.
Zhang, a six-time Asian Tour winner and legend in his own right, has been impressed by the young Chinese and believes he can continue to make his mark.
China’s elder statesman also believes that despite the diverse culture and background Team Asia has, they are united in their common goal of bringing glory to the continent when the event starts.
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with day one showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day.
Did you know?
- This is Li Haotong’s first appearance in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM. He is the second player after Wu Ashun (2016) from China to represent Team Asia in the biennial event.
- Team Asia will rely on Li to put points on the board while China’s Zhang Lianwei will put his experience to good use as a Vice-Captain to team captain Arjun Atwal.
- Li is among six debutants in Team Asia who will play in the EurAsia Cup.
- He is the second youngest player in Team Asia at the age of 21. Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand is the youngest at 18.
- He is a regular on the European Tour where he holds one victory at the 2016 Volvo China Open.
- Li also represented China in the 2016 Olympics and World Cup of Golf where he finished in a credible tied second place with playing partner Wu Ashun.
- In 2017, Li finished third on the European Tour’s The Rocco Forte Open. His highlight of the year was shooting a final round 63 at The Open where his third place result was his best ever finish in a Major.
- Zhang is a five-time Asian Tour champion and one-time European Tour winner. He is recognized as one of China’s golfing pioneers where he paved the way for other professionals to follow in his footsteps.
- He has played in four professional team match-play events including the Alfred Dunhill Cup in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He also played in the Royal Trophy in 2006.
We have a big chance. If we all play to our strengths, we can beat them. Why not? The greens are firm here and you have to play smart golf. We need to keep the ball on the fairway and the team definitely has the right players to do that. We have a good chance of keeping the scores low. I’m definitely very excited to be playing in my first EurAsia Cup and I’m already beginning to enjoy my time here especially with the comradery in the team room
I’m here as vice-captain for Team Asia, and I’m very impressed with the line-up. We have some good firepower, which is obviously strengthened by some of our more experienced players like Kiradech (Aphibarnrat) and Anirban (Lahiri), who have certainly impressed on the world stage. There’s also a very good mix of players with the younger ones like Haotong who is definitely shown he can win on the world stage. I’m very confident of Team Asia doing well this week. Asia is so diverse, obviously coming from different backgrounds and cultures. But we have one common goal which is to gel together as a team and put the points on the board for Team Asia.