Graeme McDowell ended his 2,037 day wait for a European Tour title with a gutsy, grinding victory at the 2020 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers which moved the Northern Irishman up to third in the Race to Dubai.
On a windy final day at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, the 40-year-old used all his experience to card a closing 70 and finish at 12 under, two shots clear of defending champion Dustin Johnson.
“It’s special,” said McDowell, who now has 16 professional wins in 13 different countries. “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.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 2, 2020
Johnson put himself in contention with two eagles on the fourth and the last to sign for a closing 67 but it was just short of the McDowell’s 12 under par total. Fellow American Phil Mickelson finished a shot further back in tied third along with Belgian Thomas Pieters and Malaysia’s Gavin Green, whose wait for a maiden European Tour win goes on.
England’s Ross Fisher eagled the last to finish at seven under alongside Major Champion Sergio Garcia, Mexican Abraham Ancer and Belgian Thomas Detry. McDowell’s Ryder Cup teammate Victor Dubuisson joined them in sixth after starting the final round just one shot off the pace but a final round four over par 74 took him out of contention in the Kingdom.
World No.1 Brooks Koepka finished in tied 17th while Dubai resident Adri Arnaus finished tied 27th.