China's Li to star in #AfrAsiaOpen

Sat 16 Apr 2016

China's Li to star in #AfrAsiaOpen

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Mauritius, April 16: China’s rising star Li Haotong will make his debut appearance at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the first tri-sanctioned event by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours, from May 12-15 next month.
The 20-year-old Chinese has received a sponsor’s invite to compete in the second edition of the €1 million (approximately US$1.09 million) event, which will be held over the Ernie Els-designed course at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita.
Australian Scott Hend and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, who have won eight and six Asian Tour titles respectively, and European Tour stars Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Levet are among other big names confirmed for the event, which was won by George Coetzee of South Africa last year.
Li shot into the global golfing spotlight last November when he finished tied-seventh at the US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where he played the final round with then-World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, and secured the best-ever finish by a Chinese in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
The big-hitting Li now hopes to make a similar impact in his first visit to Mauritius, a popular holiday destination for tourists from France, UK, South Africa and increasingly China.
“It’s a really big honour for me to be invited to compete in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and I want to thank the organisers for giving me this opportunity,” said Li, who will travel on Air Mauritius, the country’s national carrier, which flies direct from many cities in China.
“I’ve never been to Mauritius, but I’ve heard that it’s one of the most beautiful golf destinations in the world. I’m really excited to experience the Mauritian hospitality and look forward to spending time at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita.”
This year, Li has already competed in Web.com Tour events in the USA, Brazil, Panama and Colombia, and played in PGA Tour events in Hawaii and Puerto Rico on invitations. He’s currently in China preparing for back-to-back European Tour events at the Shenzhen International and the Volvo China Open in Beijing.
Ryan Dodds, Chairperson of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open Organising Committee, said Li would enjoy his time in Mauritius, on and off the course.
“We are delighted to extend an invitation to Li Haotong to compete at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in May following his impressive rise in golf, from the PGA Tour China to the Web.com Tour, and increasingly to major international events around the world,” Dodds said.
“Haotong is the latest star to confirm his participation in the tournament, which will showcase the country’s golf attractions to a large audience around the world and play a key role on The European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour. I know Haotong has travelled a lot, but we’re confident he will find Mauritius a truly memorable destination and I hope it’s the first of many visits for him.”
Li, who lives at Bishops Gate Golf Academy in Florida and retains a base in Shanghai, is the first Chinese member of the Web.com Tour. He earned his card on the PGA Tour’s secondary circuit by topping the Order of Merit on the inaugural PGA Tour China in 2014, when he won three of the last four events.
Li, currently China No. 3, is hoping to compete at this year’s Olympics in Rio, but faces an ongoing battle with Liang Wenchong and Wu Ashun for China’s two places, as golf returns to the Games for the first time since 1904.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.comwww.facebook.com/asiantourgolf ,www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf , www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.