TWELVE months after he had been told it would have been “put to bed”, Marc Warren is still answering the same questions about the late meltdown that cost him Scottish Open glory on the banks of the Moray Firth.
It’s a measure of his growing maturity, however, that the 32-year-old doesn’t get prickly in the slightest about having to spend time reflecting on how he lost a three-shot lead with four holes to play at Castle Stuart.
In fact, even though it was the main topic in his pre-tournament press conference for this week’s event, he was almost begging for more questions at the end about the events that opened the door for Jeev Milkha Singh a year ago.
“It was disappointing what happened last year but there were also massive positives to come from it,” reflected Warren. “For instance, it pretty much confirmed I was going to be in the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
“That weekend was also probably the most comfortable I’ve been on the golf course. Apart from a few holes, I played pretty much flawless golf. The old Marc Warren would have spent more time thinking about those few holes, rather than the 33 holes or whatever it was I played great that weekend.”
It was a disappointment Warren handled manfully at the time and continues to do so. “I work a lot with Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott at Vision 54,” he said of how he’d been helped psychologically. “They worked with Annika Sorenstam her whole career.
“I spoke with them after it and they said, ‘dwell on it, enjoy the good stuff and learn lessons from the disappointment’. They also said that if I answered all the questions about it, then it would be put to bed – but that’s obviously not happened.”
While Warren has been unable to convert two subsequent winning chances – in this season’s Spanish Open at El Saler and the PGA Championship at Wentworth – he’s confident a third European Tour triumph is just around the corner.
“It’s not just about highs and lows,” he declared. “You need to build up things little by little, getting the technique better, and that’s what I feel I’ve been doing with Pete Cowen over the last two-and-a-half years.
“I’m getting mentally stronger, physically stronger and technically stronger – everything is just coming together nicely.”
With a debut appearance in next week’s Open Championship to look forward to, it’s no surprise then that Warren has returned here with a spring in his step rather than feeling a sense of dread.