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Family comes first for Graeme McDowell

By Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell has withdrawn from next week's BMW PGA Championship to be with his wife Kristin, who is expecting their first child later this summer.

The 34-year-old former US Open champion will be the only member of the Ryder Cup side responsible for the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012 not to contest the European Tour's flagship event.

McDowell has a poor record at Wentworth, missing the cut in each of the last three years and failing to record a single top 10 in 11 appearances.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: "Any tournament is disappointed not to have Graeme McDowell in its ranks, but the BMW PGA Championship still boasts a superb field including four former world number ones – Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, the latter of course fresh from his victory in the Players' Championship at Sawgrass.

"I very much appreciated Graeme taking the time to phone me personally to tell me he wouldn't be at Wentworth, but the fact that he wants to spend time with Kristin, who will not be able to travel for the next three months, is entirely understandable.

"We wish them both well and look forward to seeing Graeme back in action in the championship in future years."

Meanwhile, the Ryder Cup could return to Spain after a gap of 25 years with the Spanish region of Catalonia set to bid to host the biennial contest in 2022.

Catalonia's public institutions and the Spanish Golf Federation are planning to submit proposals.

Belfast Telegraph

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