McDowell ends European Tour drought with Saudi International victory

By Joe Wright 2 February 2020 34
McDowell ends European Tour drought with Saudi International victory

Graeme McDowell celebrated a first European Tour title since 2014 on Sunday, as he claimed victory at the Saudi International.

The overnight leader carded a closing round of 70 to finish at 12 under par, two shots clear of defending champion Dustin Johnson.

Thomas Pieters, Phil Mickelson and Gavin Green all finished on nine under, two strokes ahead of a group of five that included Sergio Garcia and Victor Dubuisson, who managed only a disappointing 74 after going into Sunday just one off the lead.

McDowell's 11th European Tour triumph was his first since he won the Open de France some 2,037 days ago and means he has claimed 16 professional wins in 13 different countries.

"It's special," said McDowell, who has now won a European Tour title in three different decades. "I've been working hard the last year and a half. I want to be back up there one more time just to be able to play against these guys.

"The game of golf is in such great shape, there are so many great players in the world, it's so exciting to be a top player in the world and I want to be back up there again."

McDowell looked comfortable in the windy conditions over the weekend but bogeyed the opening hole and had to battle for par finishes on the third and fifth.

He sunk an 18-foot birdie at the eighth but gave up another shot on the next hole, meaning he was level with playing partner Dubuisson at the turn, but the Frenchman's double bogey on the 11th handed McDowell the initiative.

Pieters had pulled to within a stroke of the lead, but back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th holes - the latter teed up by a superb approach shot - allowed McDowell to ease down the home stretch.

Johnson hit two eagles in a round of 67, the second on the 18th lifting him into second, but McDowell was not to be denied.

About Author

Joe Wright

Comment