Fresh off the back of winning the Silver Medal at the Open, Sam Locke has turned professional, writes Martin Inglis.
The 19-year-old, who is a product of the Paul Lawrie Foundation, fittingly clinched the coveted amateur prize at the venue where his mentor won his Open title and, after assessing his options with Lawrie, decided to make the move to the paid ranks.
“It’s been a genuine goal of mine to play golf for a living for some time now,” said Locke, who was the only one of the four amateurs in the field at Carnoustie to make it to the weekend.
“My dad, Andrew, who caddied for me this week, is a PGA professional at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre and obviously I have close ties to Paul Lawrie. So I have an understanding of what it takes to be successful in the pro game”.
“My experiences since I won the Open qualifier at The Renaissance Club have allowed me to see things from a different perspective.”
As well as winning the Silver Medal, which the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia have all achieved, Locke won the Scottish Amateur Championship at Prestwick last year and had been due to defend his title at Blairgowrie until he opted to turn pro.
Speaking about Sam’s decision, Lawrie added: “Winning the Silver Medal was hugely impressive and whilst this is just the beginning of the journey for Sam, I certainly think he’s ready to make the transition.
“I’ll be on-hand to give him any advice he feels he may need along the way.”
Locke made his professional debut just two weeks after Carnoustie, teeing it up in the Challenge Tour’s Swedish Challenge hosted by Robert Karlsson.
He safely made the cut on four-under-par but was derailed by a nine-over-par 81 in the third round. He recovered with a two-under-par 70 in the final round to finish T59 on three-over-par.
Scottish Silver Medal winners
2018 – Sam Locke
2005 – Lloyd Saltman
2004 – Stuart Wilson
1997 – Barclay Howard
1966 – Ronnie Shade
1962 – Charlie Green
1959 – Reid Jack
1957 – Dickson Smith