The Northern Irishman is back inside the world's top 50 after his first European Tour win in over five-and-a-half years

Graeme McDowell Wins Saudi International

After five-and-a-half years out of the winner’s circle on the European Tour, Graeme McDowell won the Saudi International to return to the world’s top 50.

The Northern Irishman began the day with the lead and a level par 70 in windy conditions was enough to win by two from defending champion Dustin Johnson.

McDowell was as low as 262nd in the world as recent as March 2019 and having been a vice captain at the 2018 Ryder Cup, some may have thought the 40-year-old’s days at the top were over.

However, he won on the PGA Tour at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship at the end of March and this win takes him back inside the top 50.

G-Mac was out in one over on the final day in Saudi and a bogey on the difficult 13th opened the door for his rivals.

He firmly slammed it shut with back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 before coasting home for a two-stroke win.

Watch: McDowell’s tournament-winning birdie on 15

The 40-year-old was emotional after his victory, saying that he is excited for the future in this last phase of his career.

“My big goal this year was to be back in the top 50 in the world, back competing in the big tournaments. I’m very excited that it’s happened a little faster than I expected but hopefully it’s laying some foundations down for having a big year,” he said.

Now that he has completed his goal to get back into the top 50, the 2010 US Open champion wants a return to the top 20 and a chance at Major glory again.

“My goal is to get back in the top 20 in the world and to be competing.

“I want another chance at a Major Championship on the back nine on a Sunday. This is all the steps. It’s a lofty goal.

“There’s going to be a lot of steps between here and now, but this really gives me the kick-on that I need.

“It’s going to change my schedule the next few months I hope. I’m not sure if I get in Mexico or Augusta at this point.

“I’m going to be close to it. But hopefully it will change my schedule a little bit and these are great problems.”

Watch – Emotional G-Mac – “I want to show them dad’s tough and dad can do it. I don’t want to have to pull up the YouTube videos”

Related: McDowell to host next two Irish Opens

Saudi International Leaderboard 2020 –

1 Graeme McDowell -12

2 Dustin Johnson -10

3 Gavin Green -9

3 Phil Mickelson -9

3 Thomas Pieters -9

6 Abraham Ancer -7

6 Thomas Detry -7

6 Victor Dubuisson -7

6 Ross Fisher -7

6 Sergio Garcia -7

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