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Singh victory leaves Warren out in the cold

By Mark Garrod

Marc Warren looked totally stunned after blowing a three-stroke lead to lose not only his home Scottish Open, but also a place in the Open Championship.

Both prizes went instead to Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, who on a dream Sunday 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 number 192 beat 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,” said the 31-year-old — a Rangers fan just to make his week even worse.

Asked if devastated was the right word to describe how he felt he managed a smile — it might have been different if he had been asked to address the crowd and those close to him like compatriot Andy Murray at Wimbledon — and replied: “Not quite yet. I am 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.”

It all started to go horribly wrong for Warren on the 423-yard 15th.

He faced a 15-foot par putt after finding rough, but three-putted it for a double bogey six.

His next drive found gorse and after a penalty drop led to a bogey five, then he chipped far 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 then missed from 25 feet.

Swede Alex Noren was equally gutted 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 required a closing birdie to win but left himself having to hole from nine feet to keep his title hopes alive. He made that, but could not match Singh's four when they played the hole again.

Singh said: “This (victory) has given me a lot of confidence and I can build on that.

“I'm feeling fit and good things are on their way in the future.”

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