Ryder Cup golfer Graeme McDowell has withdrawn from Open Championship final qualifying competition at St Annes Old Links because his clubs were delayed at a French airport.
The Northern Irishman arrived at the Fylde course for a practice round on Monday after flying across the Channel but his clubs were still at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
The 47-year-old former US Open winner was the star name in Tuesday’s field of 72 for Old Links, where the top three after 36 holes will win places at the 147th Open at Carnoustie this month.
McDowell attempted to clinch qualification at the French Open over the weekend but could finish only 37th at Le Golf National in Paris.
He revealed his predicament to followers on Twitter, outlining his frustration at trying to resolve the issue with Air France.
McDowell explained instead of playing at Old Links with hired clubs, he would rather focus on the Irish Open at Ballyliffin, which offers the next opportunity to qualify for Carnoustie later this week.
He tweeted late on Monday :"I have officially withdrawn from @TheOpen qualifying tomorrow at St Annes Old Links.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.
"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."
He had earlier tweeted: “Frustrating one. Have to start switching my brain to @DDFIrishOpen. @TheOpen spots there also. Still need clubs!!!
“Clubs still not on way from Paris. Established that they are in the black hole known as CDG.
“I have another event to get ready for this week, so have to cut my losses and start preparing.”
McDowell’s best Open performance came on the Fylde coast in 2012, when he tied for fifth place at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
He has been named a vice-captain to Thomas Bjorn for September’s Ryder Cup, to be played at the same Paris course where he competed in recent days.
McDowell is a four-time Ryder Cup player and could yet make the team for this year’s Europe v USA showdown.