War­ren’s shoul­der charge

Scots player shrugs off in­jury to make his mark in Bri­tish Masters

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - SPORT -

Marc War­ren’s strug­gles with a shoul­der in­jury ap­pear to be be­hind him and he is al­ready on a charge through the fi­nal weeks of the Euro­pean Tour sea­son to get back where he be­longs.

The three-time Euro­pean Tour win­ner suf­fered a ro­ta­tor cuff in­jury this sea­son which he has fi­nally man­aged back to health with­out surgery that would have prob­a­bly cost him the rest of this sea­son. A sec­ond place at last week’s Por­tu­gal Masters was the re­ward and he com­fort­ably made the cut at Close House in the Bri­tish Masters yes­ter­day.

“It was dou­bly frus­trat­ing be­cause I haven’t had a lot of in­jury in my ca­reer; it seemed to be hap­pen­ing all at once be­cause I also had a thumb prob­lem,” he said af­ter a three-un­der 67. “I ba­si­cally didn’t have the tools to go to war out there.

“The first event I played pain-free since Dubai was Paul’s event (the Match­play) and I’ve felt since then I’ve played well and shoot­ing some good scores.”

War­ren was ad­vised to have surgery but opted for two cor­ti­sone in­jec­tions. The first was in­ef­fec­tive af­ter only about 20 days but the sec­ond al­lowed him to ex­er­cise the shoul­der, which was nec­es­sary to make the prob­lem heal.

“The fact I was told I had to work my shoul­der was a big thing men­tally as I’d felt un­til then that rest was go­ing to be the only cure,” he said. “That made it eas­ier for me to go out and prac­tice.

“I felt I was bat­tling with my game in the height of the sum­mer as my swing felt tech­ni­cally poor. It is good to be com­ing through the other side now with no nig­gles or pain.”

War­ren had even en­tered tour school but af­ter his fin­ish in Por­tu­gal leapt him to 100th on the Race to Dubai, and with the Dun­hill next week be­ing an event he usu­ally does well, he’s con­fi­dent again.

“I didn’t look at my Race to Dubai po­si­tion be­cause I knew there was no point,” he said.

Aberdeen’s Richie Ram­say re­turned a sec­ond-suc­ces­sive 69 with a strong fin­ish of a birdie at the last, hol­ing for 45ft to fin­ish at six-un­der 134 for the cham­pi­onship to lie tied 10th go­ing into the week­end.

“Again, solid to­day and I gave my­self chances, one school­boy er­ror (for a bo­gey at 15) but I kept the mo­men­tum go­ing,” he said.

“Pa­tience is al­ways the key and af­ter so many years out here now it’s some­thing that comes to you grad­u­ally. I was pretty happy and there were a cou­ple of mo­ments I holed good ones to keep my­self go­ing for­ward.”

Scott Jamieson also matched his score from Thurs­day, a 68 putting him in good shape for a strong week­end.

Three other Scots ral­lied well to make the cut on the mark, Stephen Gal­lacher sur­viv­ing de­spite a bo­gey at the last, while David Drysdale shot a 67 with three birdies on the back nine to make it on two un­der.

Dun­can Ste­wart’s ea­gle 3 on the sixth – his 15th – was the key blow to get­ting the Gran­town man into the week­end, but his friend Rus­sell Knox, from In­ver­ness, couldn’t re­cover from an open­ing 74 de­spite a two-un­der 68 yes­ter­day.

Tyrrell Hat­ton holds a three-shot lead at the half­way mark but the English­man has tour­na­ment host Lee West­wood and Ian Poul­ter lead­ing the chas­ing pack. Hat­ton added a sec­ond round of 65 to his open­ing 63 at Close House.

At 12 un­der par, Hat­ton en­joyed a three-shot lead over tour­na­ment host Lee West­wood, Ian Poul­ter, Ash­ley Ch­esters, Chris Han­son and Robert Karls­son, with Graeme Storm and Lee Slat­tery on eight un­der with Fin­land’s Mikko Ilo­nen.

Rory McIlroy could only add a 69 to his open­ing 67 to lie eight shots off the pace on four un­der along­side for­mer Masters cham­pion Danny Wil­lett. Sev­en­teen points from fly half Peter Horne en­sured Glas­gow main­tained their im­pres­sive start to the sea­son with a 37-21 bonus point win against Tre­viso at Scot­stoun last night.

Dave Rennie’s play­ers have made a fine start to the Pro14 and they re­tained their 100% record de­spite an in­dif­fer­ent per­for­mance.

Ex­pec­ta­tions were high af­ter a su­perb win against Mun­ster last week but the hosts failed to reach the same heights be­fore a stop­page-time try from Sam John­son claimed a dra­matic bonus point.

Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lion Tommy Sey­mour made an im­pact on his re­turn fol­low­ing a busy sum­mer, and it was the winger who opened the scor­ing from a well-worked set-piece fol­low­ing a scrappy open­ing in which the pour­ing rain got the bet­ter of both sides.

As well as Sey­mour and John­son, Rob Har­ley and Horne also crossed the try line for Glas­gow.

Horne was on the mark with three con­ver­sions and two penal­ties, while South African Bran­don Thom­son had a con­ver­sion and penalty for Glas­gow.

Jami­son Gib­son-Park’s 73rd-minute try helped Leinster to seal a 21-13 vic­tory against Ed­in­burgh in Ire­land.

Leinster turned a mis­cued Blair Kinghorn clear­ance into the game’s key score, with Gib­son-Park’s fel­low re­place­ment Ross Byrne con­vert­ing from out wide as the hosts got back to win­ning ways.

Ja­son Tovey did all of Ed­in­burgh’s scor­ing, kick­ing two early penal­ties and run­ning in a 30th-minute in­ter­cept try as they trailed 14-13 at half-time.

Strug­gling to im­prove on last week’s lack­lus­tre dis­play against the Chee­tahs, Leinster were for­tu­nate to be in front, with man-ofthe-match Jonathan Sex­ton con­vert­ing Joey Car­bery’s try to add to Jordi Mur­phy’s ear­lier ef­fort.

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