'Relieved' McDowell wins in Saudi to end title drought

By: AFP      Published: 10:37 PM, 2 Feb, 2020
Graeme McDowell pose alongside trophy

Graeme McDowell said he was "relieved" after successfully defending his overnight lead on a windy Sunday afternoon to win the Saudi International for his 11th European Tour title but first in nearly five-and-a-half years.

It was the 16th international win for the 40-year-old, who is expected to rise to inside the top 50 of the world rankings from his current 104th place.

"I didn't realise it had been quite that long here in Europe. I'm very excited. I'm very relieved," he said.

"It's been 10 years since I won a US Open, 10 years probably since I played the best golf of my life. I feel like I'm moving back in the right direction.

"I have a solid team, life's settled down. I've got a great wife and great family, I'm very happy with what's going on in my life right now.

"I feel like the pond, the ripples in the pond have kind of steadied out a little bit now and I'm in a good place to play some good golf."

On Sunday at the Royal Greens Golf Club, the Northern Irishman had slipped to two-over par for his round with three bogeys in 13 holes.

He still had a one-shot lead, but things were looking tenuous for the Northern Irishman.

The 2010 US Open champion then poured in a putt from over 25 feet on the 14th hole for a birdie, and muscled his iron shot on the next from the rough to tap-in distance for a second successive birdie.

After pars on the next two holes, McDowell walked down the 18th with a two-shot lead.

He made a nervy par despite hitting a fantastic tee shot.

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