Graeme McDowell to play at Castle Stuart

Graeme McDowell is heading back to Castle Stuart this summer for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, three years after he criticised the decision to stage the event at the Highlands course.

Graeme McDowell: Critical of Castle Stuart move in 2013. Picture: Getty

McDowell, who played at the course in 2011 but didn’t return the following two years, said he believed the tournament had lost much of its esteem with the move from Loch Lomond to Castle Stuart.

“No disrespect to the Scottish Open as I love that event, but it has lost its prestige,” said the 2008 winner in 2013. “Castle Stuart probably hasn’t been a strong enough course the past couple of years. Let’s get the Scottish Open on a phenomenal links course with a great purse and a world-class field.”

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McDowell has now had a change of heart and intends to be at Castle Stuart in July.

“The Scottish Open is definitely going to be on my schedule this year and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m sure they will be glad to see me there!”

In fairness to McDowell, he moved immediately to defuse the situation created by his comments in 2013 by making a personal apology to the Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive, Martin Gilbert.