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McDowell skipping BMW to be with pregnant wife

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Graeme McDowell has withdrawn from next week's BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour in order to spend time with his wife Kristen, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.

According to multiple media reports, McDowell called European Tour chief executive George O'Grady Thursday to inform him of his decision. The couple now resides in Florida and, while the child is not due until late August, the Ulsterman informed O'Grady that his wife will not be with him on the road this summer.

"I very much appreciated Graeme taking the time to phone me personally to tell me he wouldn't be at Wentworth," O'Grady said. "But the fact that he wants to spend time with Kristen, who will not be able to travel for the next three months, is entirely understandable."

McDowell's record in the European Tour's flagship event is not a stellar one, as he has missed the cut at Wentworth each of the last three years and his T-13 finish in his debut in 2009 remains his best result. He tied for 62nd last week at The Players Championship.

The decision to stay home next week also means McDowell's road to the 2014 European Ryder Cup squad will be that much more difficult. The Ulsterman is currently 20th in the European points list and 17th on the World points list, with only the top four and five players from each list, respectively, qualifying automatically. McDowell has played in each of the last three Ryder Cups, but the list of players ahead of him and still not currently in line to qualify automatically for Gleneagles includes Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jonas Blixt.