ALTHOUGH David Horsey might have liked a higher finish in the Saudi International, he will take confidence from his performance into the rest of the European Tour calendar.

The Wilmslow 35-year-old, who is attached to the Styal Golf Club he came through as a junior, finished tied 12th in a star-studded field at the par 70 Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City over the weekend.

It was a vast improvement on having failed to meet the cut in his first two events of 2021.

He led on day one with a stunning round of 61, which handed him joint ownership of the course record.

If there was ever a day he needed the conditions to stay fine so that he could hope to maintain momentum it was the next one.

But day two was hit by bad weather, a delay and then suspension of play meaning six of his holes in round two were carried over to day three.

It certainly did him no favours, returning scores of 71 and 69 before completing the weekend with a fourth round 70.

As he slid down the snake, not to the point of being out of contention as he was four off the pace going into the final day, world number one Dustin Johnson rose up the ladder to eventual run out the winner on 15 under par.

Horsey, who finished nine under, will look back fondly on day one even if a little frustrated by what followed.

He reached the turn in two under par and then fired seven birdies in the space of eight holes in a back nine of 28 to finish nine under.

"I’ve been playing rubbish the last couple of weeks. Didn’t feel like I controlled my ball the first two events,|" said Horsey upon his return to the clubhouse.

“I had a conversation with a pal back home last night (Wednesday), talking a few things through and he suggested something that I work on away from the tournament. I thought, well, can’t get any worse, so I may as well try it and here we are.”

Horsey needed to eagle the par-five 18th to record what would have been only the second 59 in European Tour history, but he had to settle for par after almost pulling his approach into the water to the left of the green.

“It was really on my mind if I’m honest with you,” added Horsey, whose last tournament victory came in 2015.

“If it (the 18th) was reachable, maybe more so.

“I had a little conversation with myself going down 16. I wanted to make birdie there and sort of added it up and realised I can’t really reach 18 in two. So I think realistically there were two good birdie chances, I managed to birdie 17 and made a bit of a hash of the last.”

Horsey considers Styal Golf Club his home base, having grown up making use of the club's facilities.

Career highlights since turning professional are his quartet of European Tour triumphs – the 2010 BMW International Open in Germany, the 2011 Hassan Trophy in Morocco, the 2014 Russian Open and 2015 Made in Denmark tournament.

Before joining the paid ranks he was the 2005 Greek Amateur Championship winner and runner-up in the 2004 English Amateur Championship, while he represented Great Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup alongside high-profile Rory McIlroy and Danny Willett at Royal County Down in 2007 prior to turning pro.

It was in his first full season on the Challenge Tour in 2008, when he recorded victories at the Telenet Trophy and the AGF-Allianz EurOpen de Lyon along with seven other top-10 finishes, that he not only qualified for his first ‘major’ at Royal Birkdale but ended the year on top of the rankings to graduate to the European Tour for 2009 and has been a mainstay ever since.

Horsey, who enjoyed his highest Order of Merit finish in 29th in 2016, was also a member of the successful Great Britain and Ireland team which retained the Seve Vivendi Trophy in 2011.