Graeme McDowell ‘didn’t love’ Renaissance Club but might be back for Scottish Open

Former Scottish Open champion Graeme McDowell is ready to give The Renaissance Club a second chance in this year’s event if he is chasing a Ryder Cup spot come July.

Graeme McDowell claimed the course at The Renaissance Club was 'just average' last year. Picture: AP.

McDowell, who landed his win at Loch Lomond in 2008, wasn’t impressed with the East Lothian course when it hosted the Rolex Series event for the first time last year.

The fact he missed the cut following rounds of 73-69 clearly didn’t help and neither did the fact it wasn’t the proper links test he was looking for heading into the Open at Royal Portrush the following week due to benign weather 
conditons.

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“Didn’t love the golf course, though I didn’t have a good experience as I missed the cut,” said McDowell, speaking following his weekend win in the Saudi International of the Tom Doak-designed layout. “Golf course is just average.

“It also wasn’t a proper links test. I don’t think they set it up the way they needed to and I think they will do a better job this time.”

Asked about the possibility of returning this summer, he added: “I’m not ruling it out. I’m a big fan of Martin Gilbert and everything Aberdeen Standard Investments have done for that tournament.

“I’ll be at the Scottish Open, depending on what I need to do. If I’m close to the Ryder Cup, I’ll be at the Scottish Open. If I’m not in the Open I’ll be in the Scottish Open.

“We’ll see. There’s a good chance I’ll be there. Things have changed quite a lot now with the schedule.”

l Sam Locke shot a two-under-par 70 to share the first-round lead with 17-year-old Jordan amateur Shergo Al Kurdi and England’s Alex Belt in a MENA Tour event at Ayla Golf Club in Jordan.