Scottish duo Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson have linked up with legendary swing guru David Leadbetter in a bid to improve performances, starting in this week’s Spanish Open at Valderrama.
Both players had been working with Alan McCloskey, the 2015 Scottish Coach of the Year, before deciding they wanted to try something new with Leadbetter, one of the best-known coaches in the game over the past 30 years.
The Florida-based Englishman worked with Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Ernie Els in the prime of their careers and currently coaches women’s world No 1 Lydia Ko and Korean Ben An, the BMW PGA champion.
“I felt I’d lost my way with what I was trying to do a bit and I like to keep things fresh so was thinking of a change,” said Warren, who has just fallen out of the world’s top 100 after being close to breaking into the top 50 exactly a year ago.
The three-time European Tour winner added: “I got the chance to spend a couple of days with David Lead- better. I’ve liked his players’ swings over the years, so it was a fairly easy decision to make.”
Jamieson, who made his breakthrough on the circuit with a win in South Africa in 2013, also decided it was time for a change after leaving it late to secure his card at the end of last season.
“I was ranking in the third percentile for iron play between 125-200 yards compared to the PGA Tour strokes gained so something had to change,” he said.
“Every other part of my game was better than the average guy on PGA Tour, so felt that I had to make some swing changes to address how bad my iron play was. I’d sent David some swings a while back and he told me his thoughts and a lot of it fell in line with what feels natural to me. We are trying to get my arms and body more in sync.
“They were doing two completely separate things, causing me to rely on timing far too often. So, hopefully, they sync better and my iron play will catch up with the rest of my game.”
Joining Warren and Jamieson in the Spanish event being hosted by Sergio Garcia are Richie Ramsay, who is making his first appearance since becoming a dad, David Drysdale, Craig Lee, Paul Lawrie, Andrew McArthur and Jamie McLeary while Scott Henry is currently first reserve.
Stephen Gallacher had hoped he would also be in the field for the Tour’s return to Valderrama, where the season-ending Volvo Masters was held for a number of years and also, of course, the 1997 Ryder Cup. However, he has stuck to his surgeon’s orders, having undergone a hand operation less than a month ago and only starting to hit balls again a week past Monday.
Instead, Gallacher, who had been troubled by the hand problem since last May, will make his return in next week’s Shenzhen International then, all being well, stay on for the China Open.