Li 'didn't expect' course record-tying round after superb first day at BMW International Open

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Li Haotong matched the course record on day one of the BMW International Open
Li Haotong matched the course record on day one of the BMW International Open

Li Haotong admits he did not expect to finish the first day of the BMW International Open at 10 under par, after he shot a sublime round to tie the course record at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried.

The Chinese 26-year-old has put himself on the front foot for a first European Tour title since the 2018 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, after a superb start in Munich.

Li took a one-stroke lead over Dutchman Daan Huizing into the clubhouse at the end of play, having notched a pair of eagles in the final four holes.

Having last played at the Porsche European Open earlier this month, he returned to the course after a brief period of rest - and admitted that he did not see his record-equalling feat coming.

"It's just been an incredible day for me," Li stated. "I didn't expect that [after] a couple of weeks off in Dubai. But I had a good start, two birdies in the first three holes. I hit every fairway, I think.

"The last few weeks, I've played solid, but just couldn't put [it all] together. Hopefully this week, I can get some experience there and put things together."

Huizing posted nine birdies to take second after the opening day, while Nicolai von Dellingshausen came in third at eight under par after a strong round on home soil for the German.

But it was fellow countryman Maximilian Kieffer who earned the biggest plaudits of the day after he holed out for an albatross on the 11th, to the delight of the crowd.

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