McDowell pulls out of Wentworth

Graeme McDowell has withdrawn from next week’s BMW PGA Championship to be with his wife, Kristin, who is expecting their first child later this summer.

McDowell pulls out of Wentworth

The 34-year-old former US Open champion will be the only member of the Ryder Cup side responsible for the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ 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.

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

Catalonia’s public institutions and the Spanish Golf Federation are planning to submit their proposals when the bidding process opens, although no course has yet been specified.

* England’s Eddie Pepperell emerged from a tightly-packed leaderboard to claim the outright lead after the first round of the Spanish Open.

Pepperell carded an opening four-under-par 68 at PGA Catalunya to finish a shot ahead of a group of eight players, including pre-tournament favourite Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Another eight players were a shot further back, including Ryder Cup hopeful Joost Luiten and former Open champion Paul Lawrie.

Three Irish player are on 72, Shane Lowry, Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and Simon Thornton.

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