MARC Warren says his Scottish Open heartbreak can drive him to success at Gleneagles this week.
The 31-year-old played the first 14 holes of his final round at Castle Stuart in five under par last month, but dropped four shots in the final four holes to complete a devastating collapse.
It was a capitulation that was made all the more galling by the fact it would not only have sealed him his first European Tour title since he won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2007, but would have seen him qualify for his first British Open.
The Stewartfield man finished third in the end and missed out on the play-off which eventually saw India’s Jeev Mikha-Singh defeat Italian Francesco Molinari for the title.
But, in a year when he made his first Major appearance by qualifying for the US Open in June, Warren says there are more positives than negatives to reflect on as he eyes another good week on Scottish soil.
He told the News: “Obviously, it was a disappointing finishfor me at Castle Stuart.
“I had it in the bag and I shouldn’t have let it get away from me, but I still look at that week positively because I played some of the best golf I’ve ever played and I felt really comfortable out there.
“Being in tournaments of that size again is why I’ve worked so hard to get back to this level and it was a really nice feeling to be in a position where I can win events again.
“So that experience definitely motivates me for this week and it makes you want to go out there and win it.
“I’ve done it at Gleneagles before and I’ve been close to winning it again over the last two years, so I know what it takes to put four good rounds together at the Johnnie Walker.
“It’s a great event and one I always look forward to – not just because I’ve got good memories there – but because it’s a course that suits me.
“You need to play a variety of shots on that course and that’s the way I like to play.”
Warren hasn’t played much golf since the drama at Castle Stuart thanks to the Bridgestone Invitational and USPGA Championship in the States.
But he is buoyed by his continual progress since making his first Major, finishing 44th, 39th, 17th and third in his last four events.
Warren added: “I’ve made steady progress since I played the US Open.
“I’m consistently getting higher up the leaderboard and, hopefully, that can continue.
“But it was nice to putthe clubs away for a bit afterthe Scottish Open.
“I’ve not played too much golf over the past five weeks, apart from a few social games, but I’ve been back out over the last week or so working on things for Gleneagles.
“It’s always a great tournament to be part of and I’m looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, fellow East Kilbride golfer Scott Jamieson will also be in the field for the Championships, which run from August 23-26.
The East Mains golfer has also seen a recent boost in form after he claimed his first top 10 finish of the season with a tied for eighth place result during his last event, the Lyoness Open in Austria at the end of July.
Johnnie Walker Championships will be live on Sky Sports from tomorrow (Thursday).