SUN CITY – Li Haotong is almost certainly the man who can make China a global golf power, and he gets another chance to show what he can do in this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Li, who finished second to world number one Justin Rose in last week’s Turkish Airlines Open after a disappointing final-round 71, is ranked 42nd in the world.
He reached a career-high 32nd in January after winning the Dubai Desert Classic in a thrilling duel with Rory McIlroy.
Li three-putted the first playoff hole in Turkey to hand Rose the win, but he’s not down on himself.
“I took a lot of positive stuff from there,” he said. “I’m proud of myself... My game is in good shape now. Looking forward to the next two weeks.”
His last four starts have produced three top-10s and a share of 11th, so he’s clearly on a roll and ready to challenge for his second title of the season.
“It is a very, very good year for me so far,” he said. “I just have to stay positive, and just need to play my best.”
His fourth-place finish behind Branden Grace in the Sun City tournament last year shows he can produce his best around the Gary Player Country Club.
He had the best final round with an eight-under 64.
“I didn’t really miss a shot on Sunday,” he said. “I was a little bit disappointed with the last putt, which was like six-foot, for a course record.
“Anyway, it’s a good finish there, so it’s a lot of positives I’m taking into this week, and hopefully I’ll have a good week here. Hopefully I can play well.”
We know he can do that.