Graeme McDowell entered the 2020 Race to Dubai in third place after ending his 2,037 day wait for a European Tour title with a gutsy, grinding victory at the 2020 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers.
On a windy final day at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia, the 40-year-old Major winner used all of his experience to card a closing 70 and finish at 12 under par, two shots clear of defending champion Dustin Johnson.
“It’s special. I’ve been working hard the last year and a half. I want to be back up there one more time just to be able to play against these guys,” said McDowell, who picked up 710 Race to Dubai points to enter the season-long Rankings in third place, behind fellow Ryder Cup stalwart Lee Westwood and 24 year old Australian Lucas Herbert – after all three recorded victories in the European Tour’s desert swing.
“The game of golf is in such great shape,” he continued. “There are so many great players in the world, it’s so exciting to be a top player in the world and I want to be back up there again.”
Johnson put himself in contention with two eagles on the fourth and the last to sign for a closing 67 but he fell just short of McDowell’s 12 under par total. His fellow American Phil Mickelson finished a shot further back in tied third alongside Belgian Thomas Pieters and Malaysia’s Gavin Green, whose wait for a maiden European Tour win goes on. Pieters and Green both secured 219.3 Race to Dubai points which moves them up to 14th and 11th respectively.
England’s Ross Fisher eagled the last to finish at seven under par alongside 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia, Mexican Abraham Ancer and another Belgian in Thomas Detry. McDowell’s 2014 Ryder Cup teammate Victor Dubuisson joined them in sixth place after starting the final round just one shot off the pace but a final round four over par 74 took him out of contention in the Kingdom.
They each picked up 112.4 Race to Dubai points which sees Fisher move to 13th, Garcia jump ups to 18th, Ancer enters the Race in 55th, Detry climbs to 21s and Dubuisson makes his way up to 47th.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 19-22, 2020 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.