American Bryson DeChambeau will face three of the four players above him in the Official World Golf Ranking at this week’s Saudi International powered by SBIA as he aims for a ‘desert double’ on the European Tour.
“Winning on the European Tour for the first time was great – I’m pretty stoked about that. I obviously played good enough to win by seven which was really cool.”
The World Number Five made an impressive start to his fortnight in the middle east with a seven-shot maiden European Tour victory in Dubai on Sunday to move to fourth place on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
“I was very, very pleased about last week, and now I’m looking forward to this week and the first time being here in Saudi Arabia. I’m looking forward to a great challenge with a lot of great players in the field, too.
“I haven’t seen the course yet but from what I’ve heard, it favours big hitters. We have to hit some good iron shots in there on the right tiers. I think that’s going to be the challenge this week, hitting it to the right tiers of the greens, and all the top guys in the world right now are great ball‑strikers. At the end of the day, it’s going to be difficult, but it’s going to be a great test that I’m looking forward to.”
He now takes on a world-class field at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, which includes fellow Americans Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson – ranked second and third in the world respectively – along with World Number One Justin Rose, who also travelled to Saudi Arabia celebrating a victory after claiming his tenth US PGA Tour title in the Farmers Insurance Open.
“Everyone wants to play against the best players in the world,” said Koepka, “and any time you can play an event where you have four of the top five, you’ve obviously got a lot of competition, a lot of good players to beat, and that’s fun because you want to play against the best.
“That’s what I’m here to do, week‑in, week‑out, to play against the best. It’s always fun to take your talents up against theirs and see where you match up.”
Spain’s Sergio Garcia, who has previously triumphed on the European Tour in Qatar and Dubai, is also targeting a strong performance in Saudi Arabia after finishing tied third in Dubai last week – his sixth consecutive top ten finish on the European Tour.
“It’s been a couple of nice weeks to start the year in Singapore and obviously last week in Dubai with a couple of top ten finishes.
“I’m excited about my game. It feels pretty good. I’m excited about the new equipment with Callaway and hopefully we’ll keep the run going this week.”