Saudi International R4

McDowell held on for a first European Tour win since 2014

January 30 – February 02
Royal Green G&CC, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
$3,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 3


Graeme McDowell succeeded in proving to his children he is not just a “YouTube golfer”, but their Easter holiday plans may have to change following his battling victory in the Saudi International.

Saudi International R4 - McDowell wins first title since 2014
Graeme McDowell celebrates with the trophy at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

McDowell began the final round with a one-shot lead and a closing level-par 70 in tough scoring conditions at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club was enough to seal a first European Tour title since 2014 on 12 under par.

The win is set to lift McDowell from 104th in the world rankings to back inside the top 50, less than a year after the 2010 US Open champion found himself a lowly 257th.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson made his second eagle of the day on the 18th to finish two shots behind McDowell on 10 under, with Phil Mickelson, Thomas Pieters and Gavin Green a stroke further back.


McDowell became the first European winner of the US Open in 40 years when he won at Pebble Beach in 2010, the same year he secured the winning point in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

The 40-year-old also won three points from three matches in the victory at Gleneagles in 2014, but missed out in 2016 and was a vice-captain in 2018, a role he would be expected to repeat under Padraig Harrington in September.

A trip to Whistling Straits as a player is now back on the agenda however, along with a first Masters appearance since 2016 if McDowell remains in the top 50 at the end of March.

“I’d love to be on the team, but there’s a lot of things that need to happen between now and then before I can get myself on the team,” McDowell said. “I want to play my way on, I don’t want to rely on a pick but we’ll see.

“My schedule is going to change a little bit, maybe in Mexico (for the WGC event), maybe in the Masters. We were trying to plan an Easter holiday with the kids the week of the Masters but that may have to go on hold now.”

McDowell, who crucially bounced back from a three-putt bogey on the 13th to birdie the next two holes, added: “It’s tough to win on a course that doesn’t fit your eye but this is a sweet one.

“If my kids are watching at home I love you guys, and my wife obviously. I can’t wait to get home and see them.


“A big goal this year was to be back in the top 50, it’s come a little faster than I expected. I’ve been working hard the last year and a half to try and get myself back up there one more time just to be out there playing against these guys.

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

“I’ve got young kids at home and I want to show them that dad’s tough and dad can do it. I don’t want to have to pull up the YouTube videos.”


Mickelson’s tie for third was his first top-20 finish since last year’s Masters, but Brooks Koepka is set to lose his world number one ranking to either Jon Rahm or Rory McIlroy in the next two weeks after a tie for 17th.

McDowell’s 2014 Ryder Cup partner Victor Dubuisson began the final round a shot off the lead and was level with his team-mate at the turn, but missed a putt from inside two feet on the 11th as he dropped five shots in the space of four holes.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Graeme McDowell
NIR
-12
64
68
66
70
268
2
Dustin Johnson
USA
-10
67
68
68
67
270
T3
Gavin Green
MAS
-9
64
67
70
70
271
T3
Phil Mickelson
USA
-9
66
70
68
67
271
T3
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-9
70
67
69
65
271
T6
Abraham Ancer
USA
-7
69
70
67
67
273
T6
Ross Fisher
ENG
-7
66
68
71
68
273
T6
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-7
69
68
70
66
273
T6
Thomas Detry
BEL
-7
73
66
65
69
273
T6
Victor Dubuisson
FRA
-7
69
65
65
74
273
T11
Dean Burmester
RSA
-6
71
68
68
67
274
T11
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
-6
68
71
67
68
274
T13
Ashun Wu
CHI
-5
71
66
68
70
275
T13
Martin Kaymer
GER
-5
73
64
73
65
275
T13
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
-5
69
68
74
64
275
T13
Shane Lowry
IRL
-5
69
67
70
69
275
T17
Brooks Koepka
USA
-4
70
69
65
72
276
T17
Ian Poulter
ENG
-4
72
68
65
71
276
T17
Jack Senior
ENG
-4
71
69
71
65
276
T17
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
-4
65
71
71
69
276
T21
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
-3
68
73
67
69
277
T21
Haotong Li
CHN
-3
70
71
70
66
277
T21
Richard McEvoy
ENG
-3
69
68
71
69
277
T21
Richie Ramsay
SCO
-3
70
70
69
68
277
T21
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
-3
70
71
70
66
277
T21
Steven Brown
ENG
-3
71
70
69
67
277
T27
Aaron Rai
ENG
-2
66
71
71
70
278
T27
Adria Arnaus
ESP
-2
65
74
67
72
278
T27
Adrian Meronk
POL
-2
68
70
70
70
278
T27
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
-2
68
69
71
70
278
T27
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-2
66
71
73
68
278
T27
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
-2
71
69
67
71
278
T27
David Howell
ENG
-2
68
69
71
70
278
T27
Grant Forrest
SCO
-2
73
66
66
73
278
T27
Lucas Herbert
AUS
-2
67
71
72
68
278
T27
Renato Paratore
ITA
-2
68
65
70
75
278
T27
Ryan Fox
NZL
-2
66
75
69
68
278
T38
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
-1
69
71
68
71
279
T38
Alexander Levy
FRA
-1
69
70
70
70
279
T38
Sean Crocker
USA
-1
68
68
72
71
279
T38
Sebastian Soederberg
SWE
-1
65
73
72
69
279
T38
Soren Kjeldsen
DEN
-1
67
69
73
70
279
T38
Victor Perez
FRA
-1
65
65
73
76
279
T44
Francesco Laporta
ITA
Par
67
68
72
73
280
T44
Henrik Stenson
SWE
Par
65
70
70
75
280
T44
James Morrison
ENG
Par
69
68
73
70
280
T44
Jeff Winther
SWE
Par
69
68
72
71
280
T44
Joost Luiten
NED
Par
67
72
71
70
280
T44
Matt Wallace
ENG
Par
70
68
71
71
280
T44
Matthias Schwab
AUT
Par
69
72
66
73
280
T44
Sebastian Heisele
GER
Par
70
69
71
70
280
T52
Connor Syme
SCO
1
69
71
69
72
281
T52
Ernie Els
RSA
1
72
69
70
70
281
T52
Nacho Elvira
ESP
1
72
66
72
71
281
T52
Maverick Antcliff
AUS
1
70
69
72
70
281
T56
Ashley Chesters
ENG
2
73
67
69
73
282
T56
Edoardo Molinari
ITA
2
71
69
72
70
282
T56
Fabrizio Zanotti
PAR
2
68
72
69
73
282
T56
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
2
68
66
76
72
282
T56
Jordan Smith
ENG
2
71
67
67
77
282
T56
Justin Harding
RSA
2
68
73
67
74
282
T56
Kalle Samooja
FIN
2
72
68
71
71
282
T56
Lorenzo Gagli
ITA
2
73
66
72
71
282
T56
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
2
67
68
78
69
282
T56
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
2
69
69
71
73
282
T56
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
2
69
70
73
70
282
T67
Gaganjeet Bhullar
IND
3
74
67
71
71
283
T67
Justin Walters
RSA
3
71
65
75
72
283
69
Scott Jamieson
SCO
4
73
67
71
73
284
T70
Antoine Rozner
FRA
5
72
68
69
76
285
T70
Nino Bertasio
ITA
5
72
69
72
72
285
T72
Masahiro Kawamura
JPN
6
73
68
71
74
286
T72
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
6
70
71
67
78
286
T74
Haydn Porteous
RSA
7
72
67
73
75
287
T74
Sebastian Garcia
ESP
7
67
70
78
72
287
76
Julien Guerrier
FRA
9
75
65
79
70
289
CUT
Chris Paisley
ENG
2
70
72
142
CUT
Cormac Sharvin
NIR
2
75
67
142
CUT
David Drysdale
SCO
2
73
69
142
CUT
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
2
75
67
142
CUT
Matthew Jordan
ENG
2
73
69
142
CUT
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
2
71
71
142
CUT
Min-Woo Lee
AUS
2
74
68
142
CUT
Paul Waring
ENG
2
72
70
142
CUT
Sam Horsfield
ENG
2
70
72
142
CUT
Scott Hend
AUS
2
68
74
142
CUT
Zander Lombard
RSA
2
72
70
142
CUT
Alvaro Quiros
ESP
3
72
71
143
CUT
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
3
75
68
143
CUT
Darius van Driel
NED
3
71
72
143
CUT
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
3
70
73
143
CUT
Jamie Donaldson
WAL
3
71
72
143
CUT
Lee Westwood
ENG
3
70
73
143
CUT
Oliver Wilson
ENG
3
75
68
143
CUT
Patrick Reed
USA
3
73
70
143
CUT
Rasmus Hoejgaard
DEN
3
70
73
143
CUT
Richard Bland
ENG
3
69
74
143
CUT
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
3
72
71
143
CUT
Romain Langasque
FRA
3
71
72
143
CUT
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
3
68
75
143
CUT
Akshay Bhatia
USA
4
72
72
144
CUT
Andrea Pavan
ITA
4
71
73
144
CUT
Calum Hill
SCO
4
71
73
144
CUT
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
4
71
73
144
CUT
Jack Singh-Brar
ENG
4
70
74
144
CUT
Jorge Campillo
ESP
4
73
71
144
CUT
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
4
74
70
144
CUT
Oliver Fisher
ENG
4
73
71
144
CUT
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
4
73
71
144
CUT
David Horsey
ENG
5
74
71
145
CUT
David Law
SCO
5
75
70
145
CUT
David Micheluzzi
AUS
5
72
73
145
CUT
Thomas Aiken
RSA
5
73
72
145
CUT
Tom Lewis
ENG
5
66
79
145
CUT
Jeung-Hun Wang
KOR
6
73
73
146
CUT
Joachim B. Hansen
DEN
6
74
72
146
CUT
Sebastian Crampton
USA
6
74
72
146
CUT
Benjamin Poke
DNK
7
74
73
147
CUT
Jamie Elson
ENG
7
79
68
147
CUT
Ricardo Santos
POR
7
74
73
147
CUT
Robert Rock
ENG
7
71
76
147
CUT
Ahmed Marjan
MOR
8
75
73
148
CUT
Matthew Southgate
ENG
8
71
77
148
CUT
Raphael Jacquelin
FRA
9
70
79
149
CUT
Wade Ormsby
AUS
9
76
73
149
CUT
Brandon Stone
RSA
10
78
72
150
CUT
Oliver Farr
WAL
10
73
77
150
CUT
Othman Al Mulla
KSA
10
75
75
150
CUT
Thomas Bjorn
DEN
10
73
77
150
CUT
Saud Al Sharif
KSA
15
82
73
155
CUT
Faisal Alsalhab
KSA
26
82
84
166
RET
Callum Shinkwin
ENG
Par
79
79