sport news Graeme McDowell secures victory at the Saudi International to boost his hopes ...

Graeme McDowell secures victory at the Saudi International to boost his hopes of a Ryder Cup call up Graeme McDowell sealed a first European Tour title since 2014 on 12 under par The win is to lift McDowell from 104th to inside the top 50 in the world rankings  A first Masters appearance since 2016 could happen if he stays there until March

By Phil Casey, Press Association Golf Correspondent

Published: 17:02 GMT, 2 February 2020 | Updated: 22:42 GMT, 2 February 2020

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A Middle East swing that began in Abu Dhabi with a first victory in four years for Lee Westwood concluded in Saudi Arabia yesterday with one for another popular fortysomething, Graeme McDowell — his first on the European Tour since 2014.

You wouldn’t have thought the desert the obvious place to go to end a drought but, if this first leg of the new season has demonstrated anything, it’s the wisdom of that old saying about class standing firm in the face of the fickleness of form.

This time last year, McDowell stood 262nd in the world, so no wonder he became emotional at the thought of tiptoeing back inside the top 50, following his one-stroke victory over defending champion Dustin Johnson.

Graeme McDowell secured victory at the Saudi International on 12 under par on Sunday

Graeme McDowell secured victory at the Saudi International on 12 under par on Sunday

McDowell's first European Tour title since 2014 saw him boost his hopes of a Ryder Cup call up

McDowell's first European Tour title since 2014 saw him boost his hopes of a Ryder Cup call up

‘It’s come a bit faster than I expected to be honest, but I’m excited at the direction in which my game is travelling,’ said the 40-year-old Northern Irishman,

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