Johnson hangs on to win Saudi International

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Dustin Johnson claimed his first European Tour title after shooting 67 to leave Li Haotong trailing by two shots at the Saudi International. A quartet of players - Englishman Chris Paisley, Frenchman Alexander Levy, New Zealand's Ryan Fox and South Africa's Richard Sterne - are one further back on six under.

Starting on the back nine, Johnson opened with back-to-back birdies and added two more to make the turn in 31.

But Li, 23, who has been marked down for some time as the player from China most likely to win a major championship, made an eagle on each of his two final holes to complete a round of 62 that put him alongside Johnson at 16 under par.

But Johnson responded, hitting birdie at the 2nd as Lombard dropped a shot on the last. "But I did made a lot of par putts". I was just trying to keep getting my score lower and lower.

"I like the course".

Pre-tournament bluster over the European Tour's maiden event in Saudi Arabia descended into sweet nothings, as the world's best golfers got underway at Royal Greens & Country Club. "We always have some new and different challenges for us on the European Tour." said Li.

Dustin Johnson shot a 9-under 61 and took a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the Saudi International on Friday. "I definitely drove it well today, and obviously, those ten, 15 extra metres can help sometimes".

"I respect the decision of my disqualification", said the 2017 Masters champion. "All in all, I'm happy with three under".

Coming off the first overseas win of his career at the Dubai Desert Classic, Bryson DeChambeau shot 68 and was tied with Johnson and Stenson.

"Those eagles, especially the last couple shots, were really solid", Li said, "but except (from) that, honestly, my play wasn't that good".

Overnight leader Thomas Pieters slipped to 18th after a poor round of 74 that included seven bogeys, while world number one Justin Rose missed the cut after a round of 72. This is also the home of the 14 Club Challenge, Little Interviews, Fastest Hole and many more challenges, pranks and world record attempts featuring the biggest golfers in the world.