Warren's lament as Singh storms home

 

Marc Warren looked totally stunned last night after squandering a three-stroke lead which saw him lose not only his home Scottish Open but a place in the Open Championship.

Both prizes went instead to India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who, on a dream day for him at Castle Stuart near Inverness, came from five shots back and joint-16th place for the fourth victory of his European Tour career.

The 40-year-old world No 192 beat the Italian Francesco Molinari, ranked 164 spots above him, with a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a play-off, as Warren tried to come to terms with what had just happened. "I might need a little help to get to sleep tonight," admitted the 31-year-old.

Asked if devastated was the right word to describe how he felt, he managed a smile – it might have been different had he been asked to address the crowd as compatriot Andy Murray had done at Wimbledon – and replied: "Not quite yet; I'm sure it will.

"It's going to be disappointing watching The Open [an event the World Cup winner has failed to qualify for 10 times]. I had it in my hands."

After playing the first 14 holes in a brilliant five-under-par, it all started to go horribly wrong on the 423-yard 15th. He faced a 15-foot par putt after finding rough off the tee, but three-putted it for a double bogey six.

His next drive found gorse and, after a penalty drop led to a bogey five, he chipped too strongly on the short 17th and let yet another shot go. Suddenly he needed to birdie the par five last to be in the play-off, but into the wind he needed three to find the green and missed from 25 feet.

Alex Noren, of Sweden, was equally distraught minutes earlier as he had taken a bogey six there to finish one behind Singh, who had set the target of 17 under par with a bogey-free 67.

Molinari, who started with a course record 62 and led after the second and third rounds as well, required a closing birdie to win and so emulate his brother, Edoardo, a winner two years ago. But he left himself having to hole from nine feet to keep his hopes alive. He made that, but he could not match Singh's four when they played the hole again.

Singh was assured of a spot at The Open going into sudden death because Molinari was already exempt for Royal Lytham. It will be only his second appearance in the event. He missed the cut at Carnoustie five years ago. "I just love links golf," Singh said, although he had a different opinion when he first experienced it in 1988.

That was for the qualifying rounds of the British amateur championship at Royal Porthcawl and also Pyle and Kenfig. He shot 87 and 84. "I thought, 'My God, this is tough'. I wasn't used to wearing raingear," he said.

He birdied four of the first six holes, added another on the 363-yard 10th and parred in. It looked as if three-putting the 337-yard 16th after driving the green and leaving a 14-foot attempt on the last short of the hole would cost him. But then came Warren's dramatic collapse.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high