I was delighted to hear that Graeme McDowell maintained his lead at the Saudi International to claim his first European Tour title since 2014.  This win will catapult him into the top 50 in the world rankings, less than a year after the 2010 US Open Champion found himself a lowly 257th.  Graeme worked very hard last year to qualify for the the 148th Open at Royal Portrush and it looks as if he’s got a place at the Masters in his sights this year.  A trip to Whistling Straits as a Ryder Cup player may also be back on the agenda.  McDowell said,  “I’d love to be on the team, but there’s a lot of things that need to happen between now and then before I can get myself on the team.  I want to play my way on, I don’t want to rely on a pick but we’ll see.”  Anyway, winning the Saudi International is a great way to start the year.

Scoring conditions at Royal Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia were tough today, but Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson found things a lot more difficult when they went head to head in the European Tour’s 14 Cub Challenge – the first of 2020.  If you’re not familiar with this challenge, the rules are simple.

  1. Each player starts with 14 clubs in his bag.
  2. The players take turns to hit tee shots at a par 3.
  3. They get one point for each ball that finishes on the green.
  4. They must use a different club each time.
  5. If one player uses a club, then both players lose it – that means if our opponent uses his 7 iron, you must also take yours out of your bag.

Sergio and Henrik battled it out at the 170 yard, par 3, 16th hole at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club prior to the start of the Saudi International.  Watch to see how they got on.