What happened at the Saudi International?

Dustin Johnson claimed his first regular win on the European Tour with a two-stroke victory over Haotong Li.

It was the back-nine that made the difference as the American thrived, despite briefly falling behind just before the turn.

Full Saudi International leaderboard

Overnight joint-leader Li took the lead at the turn but three sloppy bogeys all but ended his challenge.

Birdies at 11 and 12 gave Johnson the edge and he then managed to keep his cool down the stretch despite a bogey at 16.

Tom Lewis boosted his chances of making his Masters debut this year as he fought his way to a solo-3rd finish.

The result means that he moves closer to the world’s top 50, and if he can continue the form that he has shown in the Middle East, he has a real chance of making it to Augusta.

The Englishman looked like a man on a mission and birdied all of his opening five holes. He played some tidy golf to ensure he picked up a second top-10 finish in three starts.

 Talking points

We promise to stop talking about the new Rules of Golf soon, but whilst they continue to dominate the headlines, we just can’t avoid it.

Sergio Garcia is the latest golfer to fall foul as he was disqualified from the third round of the Saudi International for committing what the European Tour described as “serious misconduct”.

The Spaniard is said to have purposely damaged several greens with his club after becoming frustrated at his own game.

According to the official European Tour statement, Garcia said: “I respect the decision of my disqualification. In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologise for, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again.”

He is believed to be the first player in European Tour history to be hit with a DQ for breaking the ‘integrity rule’.

Footage of the damage to the greens has yet to surface – it may, of course, not exist – but a bunker strop from Sergio from 24 hours before his DQ has come to light…

Saved par, though…

Anything else?

Haotong Li showed that he hasn’t let last week’s controversial penalty affect his terrific form as he narrowly missed out on his third European Tour victory.

The 23-year-old’s third round was something special.

Li made four eagles in total with three of them coming on par 4s, which makes him the first man to make three eagle-2s in a single round. Incredible.

His round of 62 is even more impressive when you consider that he carded a double-bogey 6 at the 6th hole.

Just one more…

It’s likely that you will have heard about the controversy surrounding the event in Saudi Arabia, but the tournament has been run without any issues.

Opinions have been split over whether the European Tour should have been heading to the Middle East country and the debate will rumble on.

But, one thing we can’t argue about is that we saw some really, really good golf.