Golf-China's Li shoots 63 to soar into Open contention
SOUTHPORT, England, July 23 (Reuters) - China's Li Haotong soared up the British Open leaderboard with a last-round 63 on Sunday to give himself a chance of becoming the second Asian man to win a major title.
A day after South African Branden Grace shot the first 62 in a men's major championship, the 21-year-old Li picked up seven birdies, including one at each of the last four holes, in a flawless round at Royal Birkdale.
The world number 107 moved to six under par and with leader Jordan Spieth dropping three shots early in his round to slip to eight under, Li was only two strokes behind him.
Li played the final round with South African Ernie Els and the twice British Open champion was impressed.
"He was playing good and making putts. He had a nice attitude and I could see he wasn't backing off," Els told reporters.
"You see some guys get a little bit scared, but he kept going. So it was really special to see. The wind is starting to pick up, so it could be close."
Li has one European Tour victory, at the 2016 China Open, and qualified for Birkdale by finishing in the top 30 in last year's Race to Dubai rankings.
He played in last month's U.S. Open, but did not enjoy the experience, shooting 82 and 84 in the last two rounds to finish bottom of the field by seven strokes, on 22 over par.
Li's mood did not improve at the French Open when he tossed his putter into a pond during the first round and his mother had to wade into the water to retrieve it.
South Korean Yang Yong-eun is the only Asian-born man to win a major, the 2009 U.S. PGA Championship. (Editing by Christian Radnedge)