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Warren brings home the bacon as Scots finally start to feast at the top table again

It's amazing what those hand-wringing, filthy-nailed historians can dig up these days.

Marc Warren is back to the form he showed a few years ago, when he was hailed as the next big thing. Picture: Getty Sport
Marc Warren is back to the form he showed a few years ago, when he was hailed as the next big thing. Picture: Getty Sport

King Richard III may have been dead for 529 years but that's not stopped them having a right good rummage around as they unearthed details of a debauched lifestyle of finger-licking feasting and heavy drinking.

Exotic bird meats, liberal lashings of booze? Good old Rich would have fitted seamlessly into the association of golf writers. Indeed, many's the night this correspondent has nonchalantly dusted off the slootery remnants of a swan and egret terrine from the lapels of the suit jacket before thundering down an overflowing chalice of wine. Unlike the decadent Dicky, though, we've not ended up flat on our backs in a Leicester car park just yet.

Marc Warren is certainly getting used to feasting at the top table after he brought home the bacon with his victory in the European Tour's Made in Denmark event at the weekend. Amid the triumphant outpourings of the Commonwealth Games, and the continued glory on the track in the European Championships, golf - the pursuit Scotland gave to the world - has been largely dunted into the shadows by all this success in running, running a bit further and running while louping over things.

Warren, meanwhile, struck gold in Denmark with a display of calm, controlled front-running golf that bridged a seven-year title wait. It was a terrific performance and one of many during a largely satisfying campaign on a number fronts for players from the cradle of the game.

In a truly international sport, with increasing strength in depth across the board, we often don't sit back and appreciate the endeavours and the successes. "I'm all for us constantly challenging ourselves to do better, but we should stop and celebrate what we, as a small country, do achieve as well," said Hamish Grey, the chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union.

Warren and Stephen Gallacher - who still has an outside chance of a Ryder Cup call-up - have won on the European Tour while Kylie Walker has claimed a brace of titles on the women's circuit. Colin Montgomerie has won two Senior majors. Scotland's amateurs won the European Cup of Nations, Bradley Neil won the Amateur Championship, Jamie Savage landed the Irish Open, Grant Forrest took the St Andrews Links Trophy and the emerging Ewen Ferguson made a robust defence of his British Boys' crown by reaching the semi-finals at Prestwick last week. In this game of peaks and troughs, things have been heading in the right direction.

Warren has certainly got himself moving. His share of 15th in the PGA Championship last weekend, following a 12th place finish the event the previous year, was further proof that the 33-year-old is coming to terms with both his talent and his ability to compete on the biggest stages. He'd been tipped to do that for years, of course. Speak to any Scottish touring golfer, be it Montgomerie or Paul Lawrie, and they will maintain, as they always have, that Warren possesses all the necessary weapons required to be among the leading lights of Europe.

Those expectations can be a heavy burden to bear. Having won his second tour title in 2007, before driving Scotland to World Cup glory that same year in partnership with Monty, Warren was seen as the man to carry the saltire forward.

He was the new hope but three years later he had lost his tour card. Martin Laird took up the running for a spell before a rejuvenated Lawrie enjoyed a renaissance in 2012. Warren was left muddling on in the margins but we are now seeing that talent being fulfilled. There is surely much more to come.

Since he joined forces in June with new coach Alan McCloskey, the highly respected Bothwell Castle professional, Warren has been galvanised after a slow start to 2014. A fresh eye can make the world of difference in this game of small margins. "There was a fundamental flaw," noted McCloskey. "His drives were blocks or hooks, so we worked on the set up. He was out of sync and his body weight wasn't linked to his movement in the swing. The good news was that I believed I could fix it in five minutes. I said to him if it doesn't take five minutes it's because it will take only four minutes. He killed himself laughing at that.

"As golf coaches, we can bring that extra 1 or 2% if we're lucky but it might just be that 1 or 2% that is required to take a player to the new level. Marc brings the desire and the talent."

Those attributes are now bringing long-awaited rewards, too.

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