Martin Dempster: Marc Warren after Masters woe

GEORGE Coetzee gave it a good run, as did Tommy Fleetwood. No-one, however, produced a more heroic effort to gatecrash next week’s Masters at the 11th hour than Marc Warren.

Marc Warren gave it a real go. Picture: Ian Rutherford

In the battle for the last batch of coveted invitations for next week’s opening major of the season at Augusta National, the 33-year-old Scot came up one spot short after jumping to 51st place in the latest world rankings.

With no reserve system in operation, it means that Warren’s dream of driving up Magnolia Lane have been put on hold for another year, but he can certainly sit at home with his head held high as he watches the event on this occasion on television. In the first three months of this year, he has clocked up a string of notable finishes, including second place in the Qatar Masters and a top 20 in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

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He finished birdie-birdie in the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio on Sunday, only to fall agonisingly short of the top 50. A spot higher and he’d have joined Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, Branden Grace of South Africa, India’s Anirban Lahiri and England’s Paul Casey in adding their names to the line-up by securing invitations at the final cut-off.

Well done to Warren for taking a philosophical view of what many would consider a crushing disappointment. He knows that plenty of other big events are on the horizon, starting with the WGC-Cadillac Match Play in San Francisco at the end of next month. He’s also got an excellent chance of making the US Open, knowing already that he’s in both The Open and the US PGA.

Warren may have come up just short on this journey but he’s grown in stature along the way and, in doing so, has been a credit to the home of golf.