As a leading golfer on the European Tour, Marc Warren is used to plane journeys being part of his working life.
But the lifelong Rangers fan has not had too many as enjoyable as the one he took to Qatar last Sunday.
While he was boarding the 2pm flight from Heathrow, Warren was able to see that Celtic were on the way to failing to get the win they needed at Tannadice to delay the Light Blues ending their quest for 10-in-a-row, and becoming champions.
“I was expecting to have a nice, relaxing flight and maybe get a bit of sleep for some of the seven hours,” Marc told The Sunday Post.
“But as soon as I got WIFI on the plane and knew the Celtic result, I was checking social media, reading messages and sending some to my pals back home.
“Everyone was buzzing – and I didn’t get any sleep!
“There was almost disbelief that we had finally done it.
“Scott Jamieson was on a flight over from Florida at the same time, and we were messaging each other back and forth about it.”
Warren and fellow pro and close friend Jamieson are Bluenoses to the core, and have had to accept a fair bit of being wound up in the locker room over the last 10 years while Rangers have been working their way back to the top.
But they follow events at Ibrox from wherever they are playing, and it has been a whole lot more fun for them since Steven Gerrard took over.
And now, after a decade in the doldrums, the boot is on the other foot in their friendly rivalry with the likes of Celtic-supporting Stephen Gallacher.
“Scott and me bought a couple of season tickets next to each other when we were sent down to the Third Division,” Warren reveals.
“It was our way of supporting the club when they really needed it.
“It’s hard to believe some of the clubs and players we were watching back then, compared to what’s happening now.
“Mark Warburton was a very good manager – but Steven Gerrard’s arrival felt like a turning point.
“The football chat on the Tour is all good, knockabout stuff. I even got a message from Stevie’s 20-year-old son, Jack, saying, ‘Enjoy the win’.
“That was great. I’m not sure I’d have been that calm about it when I was his age!
“Now there’s just this sense of quiet satisfaction about it as we don’t have to say anything – we can just look at the league table!
“The banter’s good, but it’s nice now to be on the other side of it.
“I can even pretend that I’m not that bothered when the Old Firm meet next Sunday!”
Marc came back down to earth in Qatar, and withdrew after shooting a first-round 77.
He has flown home to face up to a few weeks on the sidelines.
Warren, who turns 40 on April 1, has been nursing a protruding disc in his back since last summer’s UK swing, and knows now is the time to get it sorted.
He is hoping that some intense physio will do the trick, so that he can be 100% right for the bigger events towards the summer, when hopefully spectators will be allowed back into tournaments.
When he is back on the course, he will hope to pick up the form he has carried with him since his first victory in six years at the Austrian Open last July.
That regained his European Tour card and he began 2021 in the right way with a top-five finish in the Rolex Series event in Abu Dhabi in January, which has put him in a good early position on the Race to Dubai.
“It’s frustrating about my body because my game has been in decent shape since Austria last year,” he admits.
“There have been lots of signs of progress, and it was pleasing to get off to a good start this year.
“But I’m trying not to put too many expectations on myself, and not to get too up or down about what may come my way.
“Hopefully I’ll be back to full fitness for when fans are back in. That would be great to see.
“It’s the least the European Tour deserve, along with all the sponsors and venues that have worked so hard to put events on over the last 12 months.”
Indeed, just as hard as Rangers!
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe