GOLF can be painful enough without the addition of, well, genuine pain. “I couldn’t get my arm above my shoulder,” reflected Marc Warren of the niggling rotator cuff injury which has significantly hindered his progress this season.

Given that he’s a Rangers fan, he’s probably not had much cause to raise those arms up in boisterous exaltation anyway.

On the golf course, meanwhile, it’s been a sair fecht for Warren during the 2017 campaign but things are finally heading in the right direction. A second place finish in the Portugal Masters last weekend and a safe passage through to the closing 36-holes here at the British Masters, after a tidy three-under 67, has provided a timely tonic.

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Prior to that runners-up finish on the Algarve, Warren, who heads into the weekend on a three-under aggregate, was in a fairly perilous position on the order of merit and was facing up to the grim prospect of a return to the qualifying school. “I did enter the tour school and my manager said: ‘I know it’s not nice but you’ve got to enter just in case’,” added Warren.

Hopefully, that form doesn’t need to be used. At 100th on the money list, Warren is on the limit of the card-retaining places and still has work to do to safeguard his playing rights for 2018. With his shoulder injury on the mend, though, the 36-year-old has put those concerns behind him and is looking forward with optimism.

“I felt I was battling with my game in the height of the summer as my swing felt technically poor and that was probably down to the fact I didn’t have the tools to go to war,” said Warren.

“It is good to be coming through the other side now with no niggles or pain. In fact, the Paul Lawrie Matchplay (at the end of August) was the first time I’d played pain-free since Dubai in February.”

It’s taken a while to get to the source of Warren’s irritation. “The first diagnosis I got was that it was a Hills-Sachs lesion and a grade 2 tear of my rotator cuff and that would have meant surgery then three months off,” he reflected.

“I got other opinions and then went with the cortisone injection. The second one I had was in a slightly different place and I also ended up having to get a cortisone injection in my thumb as it was seizing up after I’d hit 60 balls.

“From not really having an injury in my whole career it all seemed to be happening at once.

“I didn’t look at my Race to Dubai position during that time because I knew there was no point.

“I was just trying to convince myself that if I played well in this run of tournaments, which will be 10 in a row, I could turn things around. This is the perfect time to start doing it.”