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BMW International Open: Li hunting Daly’s tournament record.

+++ Dominant Haotong Li threatens to break a record that has stood for over 20 years +++ Thomas Pieters now leads the chasing pack +++ Birthday cake and serenade for Max Kieffer +++ Sunday’s tee times +++

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+++ Dominant Haotong Li threatens to break a record that has stood for over 20 years +++ Thomas Pieters now leads the chasing pack +++ Birthday cake and serenade for Max Kieffer +++ Sunday’s tee times +++

Munich. It has been Haotong Li’s tournament so far. The Chinese showed no signs of nerves or weakness on day three of the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried, shooting another round of 67 (-5) to move to 20 under par at the top of the leaderboard. Going into Sunday’s final round, he is in with a realistic chance of matching or even bettering the tournament record of 27 under par, which was set by John Daly (USA) in 2001 and looked for a long time to be unassailable.

Despite Li’s outstanding performance, a number of other players were able to match the 26-year-old in front of today’s crowd of 13,000. Leading the chase is Belgian Ryder Cup player Thomas Pieters (-17), who trails the leader by just three shots ahead of the final round. Jordan Smith (ENG, -16) tees off tomorrow in third place, followed by Darius van Driel (NED) and Ryan Fox (NZL, both -15, T4). Romain Langasque (FRA, -14) is sixth going into day four.

The best-placed German after 54 holes is Nicolai von Dellingshausen (-13), who shot a round of 66 (-6) today to move into a tie for seventh place with Sami Välimäki from Finland and Japan’s Kazuki Higa. Higa had a day he will remember for a long time. As the winner of the 2022 BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship, he received an invitation to the BMW International Open. The draw then saw Higa play alongside no other than Billy Horschel today – and how he played: The Japanese carded a 64 (-8), matching van Driel’s lowest round of the day.

Horschel himself took just one shot more than his playing partner, improving his overall score to 12 under par and climbing to 10th place. The American shares this position with South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and two-time BMW International Open winner Pablo Larrazábal (ESP).

Max Kieffer (GER, -11, T14), who celebrates his 32nd birthday today, also remains on course for a top result. Having wrapped things up on the 18th green, Kieffer received a birthday cake from Stefan Teuchert, Tournament President and BMW Group Head of Market Germany, while spectators sang Happy Birthday. Yannik Paul (GER, -9, T29) played his third solid round of 69 (-3) in a row. Martin Kaymer (GER, -8, T38) returned to the clubhouse after a round of 70 (-2).

Kaymer will get his final round underway at 10:10 tomorrow morning. Von Dellingshausen tees off alongside Higa at 13:10. The top pairing of Li and Pieters heads onto the course at 13:40.

You can find and download all the tee times below (PDF symbol “Printed Version”).

Quotes after round three.

Haotong Li.

“When I won in Dubai, I was playing with Rory and I thought I was trying to finish second that week. There’s no expectations for tomorrow. I still have a three shot lead, but tomorrow will be a tough day. I just need to hang on in there and play my game.”

Thomas Pieters.

“You know people are going to shoot 64 here, so I was getting a bit frustrated after about six or seven holes, because I was only one under and I had to save par a couple of times. It was very nice to shoot 31 on the back nine. I just look forward to a lovely day tomorrow and hopefully a lot of birdies.”

Kazuki Higa.

“I just tried to catch Billy. That was all I tried to do today. I am very honoured to have the chance to play at such a big tournament as the BMW International Open, so I’ve been very excited this whole week. I would like to finish in the top ten, so I can play at the next tournament (Horizon Irish Open).”

Nicolai von Dellingshausen.

“There is always room for improvement. But I am happy with the way the round went. Whenever I found myself in a bit of trouble, I recovered well and fought back. I will try to take today’s momentum with me and will now calmly look at exactly how I am going to approach the course tomorrow. That depends on how it develops, how dry it is, and where the flags are.”

Billy Horschel.

“Overall, a really strong day of golf. I was a bit disappointed with the back nine after a great first nine holes, but it was a solid move today. With the leader at 20 under, it is going to take something pretty special to have a chance of winning tomorrow.”

Max Kieffer.

“I enjoyed the birthday greetings, but my golf could have been better today. It was a round ups and downs today. I played really well at times, but simply made too many mistakes. I will do a bit of practice this evening, have a bit of a rest, and hopefully return fit and fully focussed tomorrow.”

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