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Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry confirmed in field for controversial Saudi International


Graeme McDowell will return to Saudi Arabia next year

Graeme McDowell will return to Saudi Arabia next year

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Graeme McDowell will return to Saudi Arabia next year

2020 winner Graeme McDowell and former Open champion Shane Lowry have been listed in the field for next year’s controversial Saudi International.

The $5million event has been sanctioned by the Asian Tour and has attracted a high-profile entry list that includes the likes of defending champion Dustin Johnson.

Defending US PGA champion Phil Mickelson and World No.7 Bryson DeChambeau are also among those players who have agreed to play in the tournament.

The Saudi-based event has not been accepted by either the PGA or DP World Tours, with both confirming any player who competes in it will be sanctioned.

However, those sanctions were announced when the Saudi International was a standalone event – now that it has been endorsed by the Asian Tour, it is unclear where the other Tours stand.

McDowell won the event in February 2020, his last win, and will head back to King Abdullah Economic City looking to wrestle back the title from World No.3 Johnson.

He will face a star-studded field, though, as the likes of European Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton have also signed up.

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Former Masters champions Adam Scott and Bubba Watson are also listed as competing, as are Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele and former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.

“The 2022 edition of The International is the strongest yet, but we are still only in the formative years of our vision for golf in the Kingdom,” said Majed al-Sorour, CEO and deputy chairman of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation.

“We are seeing great progress in participation with boys and girls through our national grass roots and schools’ programs, and are enjoying a significant uptick in demand from men and women throughout The Kingdom. We are also enjoying a rich vein of form with our national amateur teams.

“Whilst this is a product of many factors, there is no denying the massive impact the best players in the world can have on creating multi-generational interest in the sport. This is why we place such importance on securing the strongest field possible, each and every year.”

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