Marc Warren had the consolation prize of a place at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to look forward to despite missing out on victory at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie match play.
The Rutherglen golfer’s hopes of claiming the £120,722 first prize and a fourth European Tour success were ended by a 3 and 2 loss to Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat in yesterday’s semi-finals and the Scot was beaten by one hole by England’s David Howell in yesterday’s third-fourth place play-off.
Warren had booked his place in the final four thanks to excellent victories against Tyrell Hatton and 2012 Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts on Saturday but was far from his imperious best against Aphibarnrat.
The 34-year-old was five-over-par for his round and without a birdie on his card when the match was ended at the 16th. But – barring the most improbable set of results at the Quicken Loans National – Warren should move into the world’s top 50 on the back of his Murcar Links display when the rankings are confirmed this morning to earn a spot at this week’s event at Firestone.
He said: “It just wasn’t the best performance but it was maybe the result of mental or physical fatigue. I’m not sure what it was, but I just didn’t play well enough. It was a bit of a blip but I feel as if my game has been in really good shape over the last couple of weeks. This will be my first experience of the Bridgestone but I have watched it on TV and it looks like a great golf course.
“I’m looking forward to playing there and, with the US PGA championship and Made in Denmark, I have three good weeks ahead.”
Warren had been struggling with a shoulder complaint during Saturday’s matches but said the injury did not contribute to his poor performance against Aphribarnrat.
He said: “I just had a terrible day. I don’t think I hit the middle of the club once.
“I didn’t deserve to go any further with that sort of performance. I will take it on the chin and move on.
In yesterday’s other semi-final, Robert Karlsson edged past David Howell after an epic contest that was decided after 20 holes.