July 2, 2018 / 7:36 PM / 5 months ago

McDowell withdraws from Open qualifier after clubs go missing

(Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell has withdrawn from a British Open qualifying event on Tuesday because his clubs have been lost after an Air France flight from Paris where he was competing at the French Open.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - French Open - Le Golf National, Guyancourt, France - June 28, 2018 Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell in action during the first round REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The 38-year-old from Northern Ireland traveled from Charles de Gaulle airport to Manchester for a 36-hole qualifier at St Annes near Blackpool, bidding for a spot at this year’s third major at Carnoustie later this month.

“I have officially withdrawn from @TheOpen qualifying tomorrow at St Anne’s Old Links. I cannot give 100% without my own equipment which has been mishandled by @AirFrance and must turn my attention to @DDFIrishOpen this weekend,” he tweeted.

“Lots of you wanting to know why I don’t grab a set off the rack and give it my best shot to get in @TheOpen...

“Of course I could do this, but wouldn’t be firing on all cylinders and there are 6 spots up for grabs next 2 weeks at @DDFIrishOpen and @ScottishOpen.”

Former world number four McDowell, who is now 175th in the rankings, has cut his losses to focus on the Irish Open, which begins on Thursday in County Donegal. The Scottish Open is scheduled to start in Gullane the following Thursday.

Three Open places are up for grabs at both tournaments for the leading non-exempt players who secure top-10 finishes.

“Flew into Manchester last night from Charles de Gaulle (Airport) and my golf clubs are untraceable,” McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open winner, earlier wrote on Twitter.

“Clubs still not on way from Paris. Established that they are in the black hole known as CDG,” he added.

The 147th Open begins on July 19.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru and Ken Ferris in London; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Rory Carroll

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