Graeme McDowell wins by two at Saudi International


Graeme McDowell

Saudi International final leaderboard: (Royal Greens G&CC)
-12 G McDowell (NI); -10 D Johnson (US); -9 T Pieters (Bel), P Mickelson (US), G Green (Mas); -7 S Garcia (Spa), A Ancer (Mex), R Fisher (Eng), T Detry (Bel), V Dubuisson (Fra)
Selected others: -5 S Lowry (Ire); -4 I Poulter (Eng), B Koepka (US); -3 S Gallacher (Sco), R Ramsay (Sco) Final leaderboard

Graeme McDowell claimed his first European Tour title since 2014 with victory at the Saudi International.

McDowell, 40, posted a level-par final round of 70 to finish 12 under, two ahead of Dustin Johnson for his 11th win on the European circuit.

The Northern Irishman began the week ranked 104th, but is now projected to move back inside the top 50.

Johnson eagled the last to claim second ahead of a group that included fellow American Phil Mickelson.

Overnight leader McDowell made three bogeys in his first 13 holes as his lead was reduced to just one shot, but birdies at 14 and 15 calmed the nerves.

From there, the 2010 US Open Champion was able to par in and claim a first worldwide victory since his PGA Tour success in the Dominican Republic last March.

“It’s special,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve worked hard the last year and a half to be back up there one more time playing against these top guys.

“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.”

Johnson shot a 67 – his fourth sub-70 score of the week – to finish second in defence of his title, while Mickelson tied for third alongside Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Malaysian Gavin Green.

For five-time major winner Mickelson, it was his first top-10 since victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last February.

World number one Brooks Koepka only managed a final-round two-over 72 to finish at four under in a share of 17th.

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