Jan. 13 — Chinese player Li Haotong hopes to use this week’s PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii to restart his once-promising career — having beaten Rory McIlroy and Rory McIlroy in head-to-head matches. Stars like Brooks Koepka.
The 26-year-old Chinese golfer has been through a rough patch at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. But recent runner-up finishes at the National Games in China and the Volvo China Open are positive signs for him.
Li Haotong was a member of the 2019 Melbourne Royal Presidents Cup International Team and a two-time DP World Tour winner. He will appear this week at Wyelay Country Club in Honolulu, along with defending champion Na Sang-wook, last week’s PGA Tour champion Cameron Smith, Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, and South Korean stars Sungjae Im The world‘s number one amateur Keita Nakajima.
“First of all, thanks to the Sony Open for this great opportunity to get us here. It’s a great tournament and I’m excited to start my new year in Hawaii. I hope I’m off to a good start this year. “Li Haotong said he failed to make the cut during his only appearance in Hawaii in 2016.
“I’m fully prepared and I want to show what I can. I’m really looking forward to this week.”
His slide in the world rankings began in 2020, when he failed to make the cut in eight of his 18 appearances. 2021 is a year to forget, as he has been eliminated 14 times in the same number of games. His world ranking slipped to the current No. 460.
Part of the new start includes working with new coach Jamie Mulligan, who also coaches FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay. Li Haotong started to show his former form with good results in the domestic competition in the last quarter of last year.
The most memorable moment of his career was a face-to-face victory over McIlroy at the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic. In addition, he defeated Koepka in the group stage of the 2019 World Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, which helped him become the first player in mainland China to qualify for the Presidents Cup. He was also the 36-hole leader at the 2020 PGA Championship, finishing tied for 17th.
Li Haotong, who started his 2022 season in Hawaii, hopes to regain his place in the world elite in the near future.
“I did find some good form at the Volvo China Open last month, and I want to continue my good form here,” he said.
“I think when I was in the top 50, I didn’t know myself very well. Now I know myself better. I pick up the good stuff and throw the bad stuff away. I hope to be back soon to that location.”Return to Sohu, see more
Disclaimer: The opinions of this article only represent the author himself, Sohu is an information publishing platform, and Sohu only provides information storage space services.