Graeme McDowell set to miss Open qualifier after losing clubs in transit

Graeme McDowell is now 175th in the world rankings after being as high as four in 2011

Graeme McDowell is playing in this week’s Irish Open at Ballyliffin which starts on Thursday

Graeme McDowell looks set to miss Tuesday’s Open Championship qualifier at St Annes after losing his clubs following a flight from France.

The 2010 US Open champion appealed for help from Air France on Monday morning but later said that his clubs had still not arrived in Manchester.

“Looking doubtful I will participate tomorrow in The Open qualifier,” said the 38-year-old on Twitter.

“Established they are in the black hole known as Charles de Gaulle [Airport].”

McDowell added that he had decided to “cut my losses and start preparing” for this week’s Irish Open at Ballyliffin, which begins at the county Donegal venue on Thursday.

The Northern Ireland player was in action at the French Open where he shared 37th spot.

McDowell had been scheduled to battle for three Open Championship spots along with 71 other players at the Blackpool venue on Tuesday.

He looked to have a good chance of progressing to the major at Carnoustie, with the St Annes field largely made up of little-known players, although European Tour winners Richard Green and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano will be teeing up.

The former US Open champion will have further opportunities to secure his Open berth at Ballyliffin and the Scottish Open a week later with three spots available at both events for the leading non-exempt players who secure top-10 finishes.

At the peak of his career in early 2011, some six months after his US Open triumph at Pebble Beach, McDowell was ranked fourth in the world but he is now 175th after a number of lean seasons.

Speaking after the French Open on Sunday, a tournament he won in 2013 and 2014, McDowell insisted that his game was “continuing to trend in the right direction” after dropping as low as 239th in the rankings following a missed cut at the ATT Byron Nelson event on the PGA Tour in May.

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