Marc Warren – R4 interview

Q. Playing like you were when you were in the Top 50, any reason why you can’t get back to that kind of level?
MARC WARREN: Obviously under that sort of pressure, is some of the best golf I’ve played. It’s definitely up there with when I was Top-50 in the world but it’s just a matter of doing it more often. It’s nice to know that I can do it and I can be Top-50 in the world, and once you’ve been there, you just want to get back inside it, so that’s definitely the goal moving forward.

Q. What is it you found last week, when you said you practiced on your own, you would take pictures. What did you find that’s helped you produce this performance?
MARC WARREN: It was something technically I do in my swing. It just gets a little bit long across the line. Starts downswing steep and just struggled, it basically gets out of sync more than anything else.

I had actually seen a training aid online, and everything about it, I watched YouTube videos on it. I was like, this looks ideal for me, why haven’t I thought of this before.

I actually found one, believe it or not, at the range I practice at, Mews Castle (ph), and tried it, went online and bought two of them using Laura’s Amazon account. I think they were like 30 quid each. Hopefully I can pay her back this week. I had to take a loan off her last week.

Practiced with that, warmed up every day using it and literally swinging ten minutes, 15 minutes a night of the other one, the one I keep in the golf bag and one was in my room, just practiced swinging with it and making sure it was how I wanted it to look and then get on to the range just hitting shots with it.

I felt as if I could just go on the golf course and swing without really thinking about it, which was a big difference, especially coming down the last few holes here.

Q. Is this is first time you’re aware of such a thing, the training aid?
MARC WARREN: I had seen it before. I know there’s one of our guys out here uses it a lot. Richard Bland uses something similar. It just never — the penny never dropped. But good timing for it to drop, I suppose.

Q. What’s going through your mind after the first few holes on the first day?
MARC WARREN: It’s typical, I said it yesterday, again today, it’s the best I’ve been in practice. Looking forward to it for the first time in a while, getting started Thursday morning. Go out, miss a fairway right, the first terrible lie, make bogey. Hit a good drive at the next, pulled it next at the bunker, made bogey. 3-putt the next and made bogey. After practicing so well, typical, that it kind of starts that way.

Birdied the next two holes after that and I felt as if that got me right back in it. Shooting level par around Kingsbarns is pretty much standard score for me. I knew I just had to shoot a good score to have any chance of having a finish, I had to have a good score on Friday. Managed to have a good 66 here, a course I’m really, really comfortable on and I’ve done well in the past.

So a good score here, and followed up by a good score at Carnoustie and then obviously looking forward to today again. Hopefully swing would stay in a groove and continue to hole putts.

Q. It would have been easy to panic after those first three holes on Thursday.
MARC WARREN: Yeah, frustration more than anything else, and kind of obviously expectations go up a little bit. I was trying to stay on top of that, obviously excited the way I was hitting the ball and everything else.

To go out and start with three bogeys wasn’t great, and obviously situation might be easy to get frustrated. The two birdies were important to get me back close to par.

Q. This will take you to around 70-ish in the rankings. You must be looking at The Race to Dubai and pushing on next week at the British Masters?
MARC WARREN: Absolutely. Hopefully I can add another one or two tournaments to my schedule but definitely would like to add more to that, and Race to Dubai is definitely in my sights now.

Q. If you had to analyse what went wrong with the game, because when you were up there, Top-50 in the world, and then all of a sudden, crash. Have you worked out what happened?
MARC WARREN: Didn’t quite feel that I crashed (laughter). Last week, a few weeks ago, I might have.

I think technically there were a few things I wasn’t happen any my swing and if it didn’t get better, I would never be as consistent as I was when I got inside the Top-50 in the world and whatever else. You’re able to go out — when things aren’t feeling great, you can rely on your technique to get you through, which is one of the most important things, but I didn’t feel as if I had that.

If it didn’t feel good, the shots weren’t good, the scores weren’t good, and on top of that, you get more and more frustrated. You always kind of look back, a year ago, I was Top-50 in the world and whatever else and all kind of snowballs and adds up to frustration.

Like I said, I feel as if I’ve found something now that at this moment in time really helped me technically, and really pleasing mentally that I was allowed to, or I got out of my own way and just went out and played. Proves the fact that when I do get that feeling for it, I can hold my own in some really good competition this week.

Q. Was it a mental barrier that you feel you’ve had to push yourself through?
MARC WARREN: No, no, like I said, it’s more technical. When I get it right technically, I perform like I did this week. Mentally, obviously under stresses and strains of the scenario, whatever the scenario meant. Obviously I feel as if I can stand up to that and proving that again this week.

I remember vividly, walking up to my shot, second shot on 18, I was in a similar situation 2011. I tried to bump-and-run it up the back and made bogey. And then this year, it was like definitely not going to bump-and-run. Hit a lovely shot, and the putt didn’t just look as if it was turning.

Q. Do you feel this situation brings out the best in you?
MARC WARREN: I don’t know, I think when you’re playing well, you’re going to be in pressure situations and you can perform well. If you’re not playing well, then you’re never going to be under any pressure.

So just one of those things. If you’re playing well, yeah, you can do well. If you’re not, then you’re going to struggle with it. But that’s just golf. You’re going to hit good shots and bad shots regardless of the situation.

Q. Do you feel your experiences of this season can make you an even better player in the long run?
MARC WARREN: I hope so, yeah. I think golf’s like that. You have your up-and-downs and obviously coming into this week, or the last three events, first and foremost, was to secure playing rights for next year. Once I do that, then I could look at the things like Race to Dubai and try to finish as high up as I can for qualifying events for next year.

Some World Ranking points, some Race to Dubai points this week, and I can set my sights on some better things than just trying to keep my job I suppose.