McDowell excited by Open plans

Graeme McDowell has welcomed the new plans for Royal Portrush. John Walton/PA Wire.
Graeme McDowell has welcomed the new plans for Royal Portrush. John Walton/PA Wire.

Graeme McDowell says he cannot wait to play the newly renovated Royal Portrush as he welcomed the proposed renovations to the course.

Planning permission has been granted for work to begin on the famous links course in preparation for the return of The Open.

GMac said he was ‘excited’ by the plans.

“I have seen the new plans for the renovation for The Open and they look amazing,” McDowell told the BBC. “I can’t wait to see that evolve and to play that golf course in Major championship conditions.

“I’m excited the planning permission has come through. My little brother is on the staff up there and I know they are all excited to get their teeth into the renovation.

“It means great things for the province of Northern Ireland and the whole of Ireland.

“So many great things will fall out from this opportunity.

“Everyone involved up in Portrush, myself, Darren, Rory and Padraig winning the Major championships, have all helped put the island of Ireland on the map.

“And the success of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush showing we could execute a Major championship here again. “The R&A and Peter Dawson have put their trust in Portrush.”

Meanwhile, McDowell’s Masters dream is still on course after he was given the green light to take part in the battle for the Green Jacket next 
week.

The Portrush man suffered a scare last week as he picked up an injury in the Texas Open.

He took to Twitter to speak of his disappointment at 
having to pull out of the tournament. “Apologies to everyone at @valerotxopen for my withdrawal,” tweeted GMac.

“Strained my lower left leg/ankle area practicing y/day and played with heavy strapping on it in the pro am and this morning. With The Masters upcoming I decided that getting fit is imperative. Don’t like WDs (withdrawals). “The week here at @valerotxopen had everything I wanted. Great people and great course. Disappointed this has happened. Thanks to everyone.”

McDowell suffered the injury during a round, forcing him to stop playing as a precaution with the Masters set to get under way.

The 35-year-old, who won the US Open in 2010, was five over at the Valero Texas Open when he withdrew, having started on the back nine.

Medical experts though feel he’s on course to go for the 
green jacket at Augusta on April 9.

G-Mac reassured fans on his Twitter account, posting: “Thanks for asking about the leg guys. I think a few days rest and I will be fine. Small strain.…”