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Haotong Li moves into 3-shot lead at BMW International Open

MUNICH — Haotong Li made eagle on the same hole for the third day running as he opened up a three-shot lead at the BMW International Open on Saturday ahead of the final round.

Starting the day ahead by one stroke, Li was 5 under for the day and sits 20 under for the tournament. He was nearly further ahead but for a bogey on the 18th.

“It’s actually a lot (more) comfortable than I thought. Quite surprised,” Li said. “It’s just another perfect day for me.”

Li completed the par-5 sixth at Golfclub München Eichenried in three shots on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday was the pick of the bunch as he chipped in from 21 yards out.

“Somehow it managed to go in,” he said.

Li has two wins on the European tour: the 2016 China Open and the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic. The latter win, when he beat Rory McIlroy by one stroke, made him the first Chinese player to be ranked in the men’s top 50.

Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

Thomas Pieters moved into second with a 6-under 66, which included an eagle and three birdies on the back nine. “I just look forward to a really lovely day tomorrow and hopefully a lot of birdies,” he said.

Jordan Smith was one shot further back at 16 under in third place, while Darius van Driel and Ryan Fox were another stroke back after Van Driel managed the joint-best score of the day with an 8-under 64.