Pros advice

McDowell feeling wary of Portstewart weather

Graeme McDowell feels the weather at this week’s Irish Open could play a crucial role at Portstewart.

After missing the cut at last week’s French Open following a string of bogeys on the final four holes of his second round, McDowell needs a top-10 finish at the Irish Open at Troon if he hopes to qualify for the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

However, McDowell is wary that the weather could play a large part in how the event will unfold, and feels it will affect the performances of every player. High winds have been forecast to batter the Derry coast’s golf course.

"The rough is not as strong as perhaps I hoped it would be, but weather will play a big part over these next three weeks," McDowell told BBC Northern Ireland.

"We have the Irish Open this week, the Scottish Open the week after, and then the Open. We all know how big the winds can be, and how much of a part the weather can play," he said.

"I love the way the course is set up - the greens are running really nicely, there are some new "T-boxes" since the last time I was here at Portstewart.

"The rough is patchy, with areas you need to stay away from, and I do think the weather will be the principle defence this place has.

"If we don't get much wind, the guys will go pretty low. If we do get wind, it will be pretty interesting."

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