Emotional McDowell boosts Ryder Cup hopes with Saudi International victory

Emotional McDowell boosts Ryder Cup hopes with Saudi International victory

Graeme McDowell put himself firmly in the frame for a Ryder Cup return after a battling victory in the Saudi International.

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.

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 for the tournament, with Phil Mickelson, Thomas Pieters and Gavin Green a stroke further back.

An emotional McDowell fought back tears as he told Sky Sports: “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.”

The 40-year-old added: “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.”

More on this topic

Rory McIlroy adds name to star-studded Irish Open field at Mount JulietRory McIlroy adds name to star-studded Irish Open field at Mount Juliet

Seeing his children fight over green jacket is Tiger Woods’ favourite Masters memorySeeing his children fight over green jacket is Tiger Woods’ favourite Masters memory

Royal Troon to host 2023 OpenRoyal Troon to host 2023 Open

Kevin Markham: Hotel list every bit as fickle as world golf rankingsKevin Markham: Hotel list every bit as fickle as world golf rankings

More in this Section

McCarthy makes changes ahead of Derry clash this SundayMcCarthy makes changes ahead of Derry clash this Sunday

Emile Heskey chased down street as child in racist incidentEmile Heskey chased down street as child in racist incident

Average Arsenal have little left to play for this seasonAverage Arsenal have little left to play for this season

Frustration grows for clubs as fixture gap loomsFrustration grows for clubs as fixture gap looms


Lifestyle

Spring has sprung and a new Munster festival promises to celebrate its arrival with gusto, says Eve Kelliher.Spring has sprung: Munster festival promises to celebrate with gusto

The spotlight will fall on two Munster architects in a new showcase this year.Munster architects poised to build on their strengths

Prepare to fall for leather, whatever the weather, says Annmarie O'Connor.Trend of the week: It's always leather weather

The starting point for Michael West’s new play, in this joint production by Corn Exchange and the Abbey, is an alternative, though highly familiar, 1970s Ireland. You know, elections every few weeks, bad suits, wide ties, and a seedy nexus of politics and property development.Theatre Review: The Fall of the Second Republic at Abbey Theatre, Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner