Graeme McDowell: Lost clubs saga put to bed ahead of Irish Open challenge at Ballyliffin

Graeme McDowell plays a shot during the PRO-Am at Ballyliffin on Wednesday
Graeme McDowell plays a shot during the PRO-Am at Ballyliffin on Wednesday

Graeme McDowell is confident he can put the saga of his missing clubs behind him in order to qualify for the Open Championship.

McDowell was forced to pull out of final qualifying on Tuesday after his clubs failed to arrive in Manchester following last week's French Open, but the former US Open champion can avoid missing the Open for the second year in succession by claiming one of the three places on offer at either this week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open or next week's Scottish Open.

"My game is in good shape, I made 19 birdies last week in France but just a few too many mistakes," McDowell told a pre-tournament press conference in Ballyliffin.

"I was able to flick the switch and start thinking about the Irish Open on Tuesday morning when I spoke to someone at Air France who was willing to physically go and locate my clubs. Before then we weren't sure if we'd ever see them again.

"I'm very keen on putting this whole story behind me and I'll have to play well either this week or at Gullane to make sure I'm at Carnoustie."