In Brief

The Open: Graeme McDowell misses qualifier after his clubs are lost on flight

Northern Irish golfer’s equipment was ‘mishandled by Air France’

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Graeme McDowell has been forced to miss today’s Open Championship qualifier at St Annes after his golf clubs were lost in transit at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The Northern Irishman was travelling on an Air France flight from Paris to Manchester when his clubs were “mishandled” by the airline. McDowell had been competing in the French Open where he finished tied for 37th place.

The BBC reports that McDowell’s withdrawal means he will now have to focus on this week’s Irish Open and next week’s Scottish Open to secure his place at the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Three spots are on offer at each tournament.  

He wrote on Twitter last night: “Need assistance from @airfrance. Flew into Manchester last night from CDG and my golf clubs are untraceable. I have a 36 qualifier for @TheOpen and really need my bag. Thanks in advance. #help.”

With no luck finding his clubs the Team Europe Ryder Cup vice-captain then confirmed: “I have officially withdrawn from @TheOpen qualifying at St Anne’s Old Links.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. Thanks for all the support.”

When asked why he couldn’t use another set of clubs, 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.”

The 147th Open Championship takes place at Carnoustie in Scotland from 19 to 22 July.

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