Graeme McDowell has returned to competition this week in Scotland still getting over the horror in learning his Bahaman holiday home had been blown off the map by Hurricane Dorian.
McDowell, along with fellow Ulster golfer, Darren Clarke and South African Thomas Aitken each had their homes totally destroyed at the Abaco resort located on Great Abaco island where the hurricane struck on September 1st.
McDowell’s disbelief in trying to fathom the loss of life and the total destruction forced him to skip last week’s BMW PGA Championship. On Tuesday, he bumped into Ryder Cup captain, Padraig Harrington at the entrance of the R&A clubhouse to extend his apologies in not competing at Wentworth.
‘Hey, PH. I just want to say sorry that I could not make Wentworth and the start to the Ryder Cup qualifying process,’ he was overheard saying to Harrington.
Regardless of matters off the course, the start to 2020 team qualifying has McDowell excited, and despite his current demeanour, he knows that in one way or another, GMac will be travelling to Whistling Straits this time next year.
“I just apologised to the Captain in not being at Wentworth last week as it was a massive week and I wanted to be there,” said McDowell.
“I also want to be in the team and I also want to show Padraig I am 100% committed, and I want to play as I think I am good enough to play.
“I am sure I will be there in Wisconsin one way or another but I would first and foremost like to be playing.”
McDowell will commence his quest for a first Alfred Dunhill Links title at the Carnoustie course.
In 2004, McDowell lost out in a playoff to Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher but only after his tee shot at the first extra hole, the first hole of the Old Course, came to rest in a divot.
McDowell has been paired with Matt Wallace for the Pro-Am event and will get his tournament underway at 09.11am.