Sam Locke (Herald Scotland photo)
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (July 20, 2018) – UPDATED:
Only four amateurs began the week at Carnoustie for the 147th Open Championship, and after the cut fell, only one remained. Sam Locke
, a 19-year-old Scot who came into the game with the help of European Tour great Paul Lawrie, made the cut on the number.
After an opening 1-over 72, he was even through the first 15 holes of his second round, but birdied Nos. 16 and 18 coming in to fall to 73. He followed with rounds of 70-78 to finish T-75.
That Locke made it to the weekend, and thus automatically won the Silver Medal as low amateur, is a big deal for Scotland golf. It has been 13 years since a Scottish player earned low-amateur honors. But Locke even did one better by his countrymen. He is the only Scottish player to make it to the weekend. Sandy Lyle, Russell Knox, Scott Jamieson and Grant Forrest all missed the cut.
"Although I've made the cut and got the silver medal, I didn't want that to just -- yeah. I want to try and get as far up that leaderboard as I can, and I don't want to just, oh, that's it, I've got it now," Locke said after the third round. "The tournament still has two rounds to go, and only nine shots back, it felt like I could push up a bit and try to get -- you're trying to finish the best you can, obviously.
"So, yeah, I guess it took the pressure off a little bit, but I still wanted to do really well. So it didn't really make a massive difference for me."
Locke played his way into the field through a qualifier at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian. That was only two weeks ago. This is the first pro start for Locke, who earlier this year finished T-3 at the Lytham Trophy and last year won the Scottish Amateur.
In addition to coming up through Lawrie’s golf foundation, Locke also works part-time at a café at the Paul Lawrie Golf Academy. Lawrie is a good voice to have in the ear this week, considering he won the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“This is my first big pro event I've played in, and this is as good as it gets,” Locke told reporters after the first round. “To do that on your first event, I felt like I dealt with it quite well. Especially early on. I stayed quite solid. Yeah, I was quite nervous. Maybe I didn't show it on the 1st tee, but it was fun.
Locke has his dad Andrew on the bag this week, who is also his coach even though Lawrie serves as a helpful mentor. Locke drew a first- and second-round pairing with Brandt Snedecker and Cameron Davis and tried to soak everything in.
“I think you've got, as an amateur, to do the best you can, but also soak up as much as you can from the whole experience,” Locke said. “And obviously, just learning from the way the other guys deal with it because they've been and done it for years. Yeah, it was good fun.”
The other three amateurs who appeared in the field were Nicolai Hojgaard (6 over), Yuxin Lin (12 over) and Jovan Rebula (16 over), who last month won the Amateur Championship.
It’s worth noting that when the Open Championship was last played at Carnoustie in 2007, the low amateur was Rory McIlroy. We all know how that one turned out.
ABOUT THE British Open
The most coveted trophy in the game and one
of the most iconic in all of sport: more
commonly referred to as the Claret Jug.
minutes of winning the British Open, the
"Champion Golfer of the World" gets his name
engraved on that cup, and a place in golfing
Amateurs have played an
important role in the tournament over the
years, with players like Sergio Garcia, Justin
Rose, and more recently Alfie Plant stepping
into the international limelight with their
View Complete Tournament Information