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Li and Zhang clinch team title at the Home of Golf

October 08 2018

Haotong Li and Allen Zhang have become the first Chinese winners of the Alfred Dunhill Links Team Championship.

And following their historic win the duo revealed eating a hotpot meal together on the eve of their 11-under-par final round of 61 at the Old Course was the secret to their success.

Li, who won the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour earlier this year, and his amateur partner Zhang, one of his sponsors and creator of mobile app WeChat, decided they needed to share a traditional Chinese dish as good luck ahead of the tournament’s last day.

The pre-round preparation worked too, with Zhang sinking the eventual winning putt – a five-foot effort for a birdie on the 5th green, their penultimate hole after teeing off on the 7th hole in the shotgun start.

Li shot a six-under-par 66 to end the individual event in fifth place, and he earned an additional cheque of £38,000 for the 35-under-par team score alongside Zhang. It gave them a one-shot victory over second-placed Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee and American businessman Scott Desano.

“My partner played very well today – and his birdie, on a hole when he did not have a stroke, was a great moment for us,” said Li. “It is also history, pretty much, with us winning this competition.”

In third place were Spanish professional Nacho Elvira and his amateur partner John van Wyk, a South African businessman who has twice represented his country in the World Karting Championships. They shot an eight-under par 64 for a 32-under-par total.

Other notable names amongst the 20 teams to make the cut in the Team Championship were Australian cricket legend Shane Warne and former Ireland and British and Irish Lions rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll.

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