Tiger On His Left, Vijay To His Right & The Day Marc Warren Was World No. 1 1/2

Scotland’s Marc Warren still recalls vividly the time he was jokingly referred to World No. 1 ½ while sandwiched between World No. 1 Tiger Woods and then World No. 2 Vijay Singh..

It was late 2006 and Warren was making his debut in the WGC – HSBC Champions event in Shanghai and teeing-up as the then reigning Scandinavian Masters champion.

The then 25-year old Warren was on the Sheshan Club practice range when triple Major winning Singh arrived beside him to begin hitting balls.

The Fijian was the then World No. 2 and what then transpired was something that any still relatively young professional golfer would be not be prepared for.

Marc Warren ranked World No. 1 1/2 at the end of 2006

“I was comfortable hitting balls alongside Vijay and then Tiger arrived and I began thinking to myself ‘please, now is not the time to start shanking it’,” he said with a smile.

“I had a friend who went out to China with me and as I went back to my golf bag to change clubs he said to me: ‘Do you know, you’re now No. 1 ½ in the world given I was standing between No. 1 and No. 2 in the world.

“We were the last three on the range and with Tiger on my left and Vijay on my right.

“I was hitting the ball well on the range and Tiger was saying to me ‘good shot’ which was pretty nice”.

Warren has never been paired with Woods and it remains a career dream to find himself playing a tournament alongside the 14-time Major Champion.

“Actually, I was one foot playing with Tiger on Saturday of that week out in China as I hit the flag stick with a shot at the last and it the ball had of gone in, I would have been in the same group,” he said.

“But it is a buzz that I still look forward to and given what he’s brought to the game.

“You only to see the reaction in the States this year what a huge drawcard he still is and seeing how well he played on Sunday at the Players Championship it will not be long before we see him winning again”.

Warren was speaking a media outing yesterday (TUES) at Gullane Golf Club and venue for July’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Open.

The now 37-year old Warren, and also a father of two children, went close in both 2012 and 2013 in finishing third both times at Castle Stuart.

And his goal of adding a Scottish Open to his golfing CV has not waned.

“To win on my second year on Tour at Gleneagles was massive for me”, he said.

“It’s only 50 minutes from home so it was absolutely amazing, especially at a place like Gleneagles as well. 

“Winning the World Cup was great as well but I would say that win at Gleneagles is definitely my best achievement.

“Coming so close in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, it goes back to what I was saying about age and being a bit more mature mentally.

“If I put myself in that situation now I think I would react completely differenty to what happened on the 15th now. 

“Mentally I wasn’t ready and didn’t have the experience to deal with something like that because I’d never faced it before. 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.

“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 winning the Scottish Open – which is a fifth Major for me – one day I would love to put that right.

“Home galleries and playing on great golf courses inspires me. I look forward to these events all year and when you get out there I just want to do well. That drives me forward.

“But it doesn’t make e feel under any more pressure.”

Warren could not stay long at Gullane, and a course he played for the very first time at the 2015 Scottish Open, as he was heading to Edinburgh Airport and a flight to Belgium and this week’s European Tour stop.

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