Marc Warren rues "sore" tee shot ending Scottish Open title bid
Marc Warren admitted it had been a "sore one" after suffering the second Scottish Open sting of his career as he produced a brave last-day bid at The Renaissance Club.
The 39-year-old, who let a three-shot lead over final four holes at Castle Stuart in 2012, followed three birdies in four holes from the 12th with an eagle-3 at the 16th to briefly move into a share of the lead in the final round.
One behind playing the last, he was still in with a chance of making amends for that bitter disappointment eight years ago only to find thick rough on the right of the 18th fairway.
It took a frantic search to find his ball, but, after only being able to hack it out, he had to settle for a bogey for a closing 66 to finish joint-fourth on nine-under-par.
"That tee shot was a sore one," admitted Warren, a winner in Austria when the European Tour restarted in July, afterwards. "It was in our mind that anything left was out of bounds, really, so anything down the right half.
"I started it the way I wanted, but just a little out of the heel, so it stayed straight instead of the usual draw. Felt like a really good, committed swing but ended up with a horrible lie, worst I’d had all week."
On finding it, he added: "I was just glad to see it, I was getting a bit nervy for a couple of minutes looking for it. Someone stood on it, so we had to recreate the lie. Unfortunately wasn’t able to put it on a tee (smiling).
"If it was Thursday, Friday, any other day, you chip it out to the fairway, but the situation meant I had to give it a go, try to chase it on the green and make three, at worst four somehow.
"Gave it a go and was glad to see it wasn’t up against the wall, and it was a good two-putt, to be honest."
Having been in the bad half of the draw for the opening two rounds, Warren admitted he'd been proud to get himself in the mix on the back nine.
"Not the end of the world," he said. "I'm just really pleased how good I felt out there, the commitment to my shots, and obviously the shots I was pulling off on the back nine were great."Loved every second of it, great golf course down the stretch with so many birdie opportunities and it tests you as well. I think it’s been a good tournament."
Bob MacIntyre was next best among the eight Scots to make the cut, closing with a 69 to tie for 14th on six-under, one ahead of Grant Forrest (70).
On his debut, Ewen Ferguson (69) finished joint-30th on three-under, just ahead of Scott Jamieson (72), while Craig Lee (71) also ended under par in a share of 42nd in his first European Tour appearance in just under three years.
Connor Syme (74) and Calum Hill (75) finished on level-par and five-over respectively.
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