Li not overawed by Watson

The 19-year-old Li will play his first two rounds at the co-sanctioned Asian and European Tour event in a headline group alongside the two-time Masters winner and twice winner on the European Tour Alexander Levy.

During Wednesday's pre-first round press conference, the Chinese youngster showed no signs of nerves and feels that the experience of playing with two golfers of such stature will inspire rather than impede him.

"I'm very lucky to be assigned in the same group as Bubba for the same two days. I've seen him on TV winning the Masters and other tournaments, but I've never met him before so I'm looking forward to speaking with him and seeing how my game compares," Li told the European Tour on Wednesday.

"Further down the line, hopefully I will have many more opportunities to play with him and other big players in the same group."

Li had a reasonably successful debut season on the Web.com Tour last year, finishing in tied for 11th place in two of the six events he competed in.

In fact, in his debut tournament in Panama he had the third round lead at nine-under-par and would have been the youngest ever winner on the Tour had he hung on to his advantage.

A final round 76, however, saw him fall outside the top 10 on that occasion.

Nevertheless, Li feels those kinds of experiences are needed if he is to be a successful golfer during his career

"I've definitely improved this year, from my long game to my clutch putts, but there have also been some mistakes along the way. It's a learning process though and I'm still young, so as long as I can keep improving and growing my skills then there's no reason why I can't get to the same level as guys like Bubba Watson one day," he added.

 "That is the goal, and whilst it is obviously a long way off, tournaments like the one this week can only help me on my journey."

 

Comments