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There’s never a dull moment with Haotong Li. Whether it’s a scintillating display on course or a bizarre one off course, there’s no doubting he’s a man who knows how to grab the headlines - whether he means to or not.
And during the second round of the DP World Tour’s Ras Al Kaimah Classic, the Chinese golfer took issue with some fan behaviour as he prepared to hit his tee shot on the 13th. For some context, he had made a double-bogey two holes prior, cancelling out one of his two earlier eagles, so he perhaps was not in the best of moods.
Anyway, after being forced to back away from his drive, he made his grievance known in no uncertain terms. Check out the clip below:
'That's told them!' 👀Haotong Li made sure he had quiet as he took his tee shot at the Ras al Khaimah Classic on the DP World Tour 👇 pic.twitter.com/oRnDLhsHAdFebruary 11, 2022
We’ve all been there…
To his credit, the World No. 293 - when did that happen? - went on to make back-to-back birdies, vaulting himself up the leaderboard and into contention approaching the halfway mark.
However, true to form, he closed out his round with another double-bogey after finding water off the tee on the tricky par-5 18th. He’s not the first to have fallen foul of the hazard covering the entire right-hand side of Al Hamra Golf Club’s finisher, and he won’t be the last.
Yesterday, it was South African Brandon Stone who came unstuck when his hopes of hitting the green in two went down with a splash. Next to go was the integrity of his fairway wood, which finished the round in two pieces.
For Li, the closing double-drop leaves him four-under and eight adrift of runaway leader Ryan Fox, meaning it will take a monumental weekend charge to see the enigmatic 26-year-old add to his two DP World Tour titles.
A strong finish will still signify progress, however, as he continues his mini resurgence. Having once been a feature of the world’s top 50, Li found himself teetering on the brink of the top 500 after a missed cut at the Andalucia Masters towards the end of last year.
Since then, he has finished second at the Volvo China Open before opening 2022 with a solid T12 at the PGA Tour’s Sony Open. Last week, at the same venue, a bogey-free final-round 63 saw him end in a tie for third, giving the golfing world a reminder of the prodigious talent he possesses.
He’ll need more of the same over the next two days, but you wouldn’t put it past him.
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
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