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Johnson is eyeing more success after holding nerve for Saudi win


Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson

By Phil Casey

Dustin Johnson believes his two-stroke win in the inaugural Saudi International will stand him in good stead for another successful year.

The world number three came from one stroke down at the turn to fire a three-under-par final round of 67 and see off his nearest challenger Li Haotong.

The Chinese player had gone into the final 18 on a high after firing four eagles, including a record-breaking three eagle twos, in his third-round 62.

But he fell away over the second half on Sunday, a birdie on the last just enough to see him hold second over England's fast-finishing Tom Lewis, who hit a five-under-par final round of 65.

Johnson said: "It feels really good - any time you win a professional golf tournament, no matter where it is, it is a big win.

"The things that I've been working on are working and I've still got a lot of room for improvement. I'm very pleased with where my game is at. I've got a lot of confidence in what I'm doing and I feel like I'm hitting a lot of really good golf shots. It's a big win and it gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year."

Meanwhile, former Masters champion Sergio Garcia looks set to escape further punishment following his shock disqualification from the inaugural Saudi International.

Garcia was disqualified for "serious misconduct" under rule 1.2a after admitting to damaging greens on the front nine of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club during Saturday's third round.

It is far from Garcia's first brush with authority and led to calls for the 39-year-old to face a hefty fine or suspension, but European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley told the Scotsman: "The incident is over. We have dealt with it. Sergio has apologised to the players and we move on."

England's Robert Rock, who was in a group playing behind Garcia, also appeared to be willing to forgive and forget, telling the newspaper: "Everyone makes a mistake at some point."

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