Li pegs back Johnson with four eagles at Saudi International

Li Haotong claimed a share of the lead at the Saudi International after he shot a stunning four eagles in the third round to tie with Dustin Johnson on Saturday.

The Chinese star had already carded an eagle and a birdie when he double-bogeyed the sixth, but his recovery was remarkable at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

Li responded with a second birdie and then, on the back nine, hit a further three eagles, with three of his four coming on par-four holes as he surged into contention.

Second-round leader Johnson had looked to be easing towards a European Tour victory earlier in the day after four consecutive birdies through the turn, but he failed to gain another shot as Li rallied.

Johnson, among four of the world’s top five in action this week, had led Li and Zander Lombard by three shots heading into the weekend after a course record on Friday, yet a comparatively modest five-under 65 saw that advantage wiped out.

Li has been thrust into the spotlight for the second week running after he was controversially handed a two-shot penalty at the final hole at the Dubai Desert Classic.

The pair are on 16 under, with Tom Lewis’ 62 in third place only enough to move within five shots of the lead.

Meanwhile, Min Woo Lee continued to excelled with a seven-under 63 to move to eight under and a tie for sixth in just his second professional start.

A dramatic day saw several big names flounder, none more so than Sergio Garcia, who was disqualified for damaging the greens.

Bryson DeChambeau, who won in Dubai last week, was back in joint-15th after a 68 left him on six under.