BACK in the world’s top 100, returning to the season’s final major for the third year running and a £76,000 cheque tucked away.
It was a successful trip to Kentucky for Marc Warren, who closed with rounds of 66 and 67 at Valhalla to finish joint-15th behind Rory McIlroy in the 96th US PGA Championship.
That was just three places lower than his debut in the event 12 months ago and secured the 33-year-old another exemption for it in a year’s time at Whistling Straits.
“It’s great that it has got me back,” admitted Warren, who celebrated holing a 10-foot birdie putt on the last with a fist pump and rightly so.
A two-times European Tour winner, he is still relatively wet behind the ears when it comes to playing in majors but, boy, is he starting to find his feet.
Warren was in the final groups heading into the last round of this year’s Open Championship before finishing 39th and certainly has the game to take on long PGA Tour-style courses like this one in Louisville.
“I’m feeling totally at ease on these stages and I think I’ve proved that with this performance and also my effort at The Open,” he told The Scotsman.
“I was in a really good position going into the last round there before falling away a bit on the last day and that was on my mind here.
“I wanted to finish this one off well and, in reflection, it was a good thing that I didn’t just go out and play good golf from start to finish again.”
That was a reference to him recovering from hitting a couple of stray drives early on in his final round to get back to the way he’d struck the ball earlier in the event.
“I had to stay patient as I struggled a bit at the start as my swing started to feel out of sync but I got it back again,” revealed Warren.
“It was stuff I’d spoken to Alan (coach Alan McCloskey) about at the start of the week and while I felt my balance was right, obviously my alignment had become a bit off.
“To be able to correct that out on the course is massive because you spend so much time out on the course. That’s something really positive going forward and will stand me in good stead.”
Warren’s effort lifted him 14 places to 89th in the world rankings while he is also up to 33rd in the Race to Dubai – the position he finished last season.
“It’s great to move up in the top 100 in the world as it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.