Li wins dramatic play-off to claim BMW International Open triumph

By Sports Desk June 26, 2022

Li Haotong overcame Thomas Pieters in a dramatic play-off to win the BMW International Open, sinking a stunning 15-metre putt to claim his third victory on the European Tour.

Having taken a three-shot lead into the final day in Munich after hitting the front on day one, Li had the opportunity to seal a one-shot victory on the 18th after Pieters' excellent fourth-round 67 kept him in second place.

But LI's seemingly routine putt clipped the left-hand side of the hole and bounced away, bringing the 18th back into play as the duo ended the tournament locked together at 22 under par.

The Chinese 26-year-old looked to be on the back foot after a wayward chip left him some 15 metres out, but he made a terrific putt to seize the initiative before breaking down on the sidelines when Pieters failed to keep the play-off alive.

Having won his first European Tour title since 2018's Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Li told Sky Sports he was struggling to describe his emotions after almost giving up the sport entirely last year.

"I don't have the words to describe it right now," he said. "As soon as I chipped that ball, I thought another chance got away, I couldn't believe that was going to happen to me again.

"Ten months ago, I literally decided to quit golf, and somehow I'm where I am now... it's just f****** golf! It's hard to describe! I had no idea I could've won this play-off."

Li shot 70 on Sunday before wrapping up a triumph that had looked likely from day one in Germany, on which he equalled both his career-best round and the course record with an exceptional 10-under 62.

Meanwhile, Ryan Fox came third at 20 under after his own fourth-round 67, edging out Finland's Sami Valimaki in fourth by two shots.

Pablo Larrazabal, Nicolai von Dellingshausen and Romain Langasque shared fifth spot at 17 under, while 2010 Open winner Louis Oosthuizen finished level with Jordan Smith for a share of eighth.  

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