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Scottish Open champ fires back at McDowell

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Graeme McDowell may have captured his third worldwide title of the season on Sunday, but the Northern Irishman’s no-show next week is still generating some buzz overseas.

Earlier this week, G-Mac told reporters that he was skipping next week’s European Tour event for the second year in a row because the tournament has “lost its identity and its prestige” at host venue Castle Stuart, which he describes as “one-dimensional.”

Those frank comments didn’t sit well with Scot Paul Lawrie, who seemed to take the slight personally.

“My answer to what he said would simply be that the Scottish Open has a title sponsor, it’s got more money than Graeme’s national open and it’s played on a links course,” Lawrie told The Herald. “Everyone is entitled to their opinions but they were poor comments. He should know better.” 

The Scottish Open, the final event before the Open Championship, will become the first regular European Tour event to be shown live on a major U.S. TV broadcast. NBC will broadcast 2 ½ hours of live coverage during the third and fourth rounds from Castle Stuart, widely regarded as one of the most picturesque venues in Scotland. 

G-Mac isn’t the only high-profile player who has opted to skip the event, though; both Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy will head to Muirfield for more course prep instead. 

Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els are among the tournament headliners.