Li Haotong triumphs over Major champions at World Celebrity Pro-Am in China

Updated 2016-10-24 12:59:11 Xinhua

Chinese golfer Li Haotong delighted his home crowds and collected one of the biggest checks of his career by holding off a host of Major champions to win the 2016 Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am on the tropical island of Hainan on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Li, who won the European Tour's Volvo China Open earlier this year, birdied the final hole of the par-72 Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou to shoot consecutive 69s and finish on 78 stableford points, one ahead of 2009 Women's PGA Champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden.

Americans Mark O'Meara, Paula Creamer and overnight leader Rich Beem, all Major winners, were a further point back in a tie for third.

A total of nine professional golfers were competing over two rounds of individual stableford for the 1-million-US-dollar Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am - with Li picking up the winner's prize of 250,000 dollars. Now in its fourth edition, this year's impressive line-up of golfing greats also included Gary Player, John Daly, Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis.

Hollywood legends Michael Douglas and Jeremy Renner were among a galaxy of stars playing alongside the elite golfers in a separate bid for the celebrity title, won by Chinese singer Man Wenjun.

Icons from the world of sport include three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker and basketball Hall of Famers Allen Iverson and Yao Ming. They were joined by a host of footballing heroes, including Manchester United stars Paul Scholes, Dwight Yorke, Lee Sharpe and David May and Liverpool greats Robbie Fowler, Luis Garcia and Gary McAllister.

The biennial Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am was established in 2010 as Asia's first and only pro-celebrity golf tournament. This sporting and entertainment extravaganza aims to popularize golf in China whilst also promoting Hainan Island as a tourist destination and supporting local charities. Proceeds are being donated to The Nature Conservancy and the Hainan United Youth Association.

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