Marc Warren reckons he is now ready to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open after becoming more “mature mentally” since letting that title slip from his grasp.
The Glaswegian led by a shot with four holes to play at Castle Stuart in 2012 before dropping four strokes over the closing stretch and agonisingly missing out on a play-off won by Jeev Milkha Singh. Three years later, Warren closed with rounds of 69 and 64 at Gullane to come close again in the event, finishing only two shots behind Rickie Fowler, and now he is relishing the tournament’s return to the East Lothian venue in July.
“Mentally, I wasn’t ready (in 2012) and didn’t have the experience to deal with something like that because I’d never faced it before,” said Warren at a media event for the Rolex Series event.
“Any win I’d had was coming from behind, chasing, making birdies to get in a play-off and win that way. So, actually having the lead and having to close it out was something I’d never experienced.
“Making mistakes and learning how to deal with that down the stretch is something you have to learn – and I know now that I put far too much pressure on myself. If I put myself in that situation now I think I would react completely differently to what happened on the 15th (where he ran up a double-bogey 6) now.
“A year or two later I had the lead again in Denmark and I managed to see that one home – and that was all down to the experience I gained at Castle Stuart. That was a positive from it, but having come so close to winning the Scottish Open – which is a fifth major for me – one day I would love to put that right.”
Warren’s breakthrough win as a professional came in the 2007 Johnnie Walker Championship and he added: “To win on my second year on Tour at Gleneagles was massive for me. It’s only 50 minutes from home, so it was absolutely amazing, especially at a place like Gleneagles.
“Winning the World Cup (with Colin Montgomerie in 2007) was great as well, but I would say that win at Gleneagles is definitely my best achievement.”