Former Open champion Paul Lawrie has heaped praise on Sam Locke after the north-east player achieved a storming success in the Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship at Prestwick.
The 18-year-old produced a hugely impressive display to emphatically defeat Anglo-Scot Ryan Lumsden (Royal Wimbledon) 9&8 in Saturday’s 36-hole final over the famous Ayrshire links.
It was the biggest margin of victory in the matchplay final since Colin Montgomerie triumphed at Nairn 30 years ago.
For Stonehaven-based Locke, a member of the Paul Lawrie Foundation since he was aged 14 and a former Scotland Boys’ internationalist, it was his biggest success to date.
Lawrie watched the amateur dramatics unfold from afar, given he has been competing in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
But the Ryder Cup winner still found time to offer words of praise for Locke and said: “We’re so proud of Sam’s golf, but also of him. He is a lovely lad who works very hard at his game and is developing very well. Huge congratulations to Sam – he deserves it.”
In a remarkable morning’s golf at Prestwick, Locke was 10 up at lunch after playing the opening 18 holes in four under par as an off-colour Lumsden, who played for Scotland in the European Amateur Team Championship last month, struggled to seven over.
Despite a repost from Lumsden, there was no way back as Locke eased to victory with back-to-back birdies at the 24th and 25th, his short game again proving key.
It was the 90th staging of the Scottish Amateur, with Locke joining a winners’ list that also includes Ronnie Shade, Charlie Green, Stephen Gallacher, Andrew Coltart, Dean Robertson and, more recently, David Law and Grant Forrest.
Locke, meantime, is looking forward to making his Men’s Home Internationals debut south of the border at Moortown from 16 – 18 August after gaining automatic selection to the team following his win at Prestwick.
With another spot up for grabs following the event, the selectors have opted for experience with Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm) making up the 11-man line-up as playing captain.
The 35-year-old again proved his ability with a run to the quarter-finals at Prestwick and will now make his sixth successive Men’s Home Internationals appearance. The banking manager currently sits in third place on the domestic Men’s Order of Merit and said: “I’m delighted to gain my sixth consecutive Homes appearance.
“Huge thanks to Renfrewshire Golf, in particular Ian Storie for the initial belief and continued support over many years, and recently to Neil Marr at Meldrum House for his hard work and advice.
“I’m incredibly proud to be named playing captain, an honour I could never have dreamed of. We have such a talented group this year that we travel with high hopes of bringing the Raymond Trophy back north for the first time since 2012 at Gailes.”
Ian Rae, National Head Coach, added: “It’s great having such a good and experienced player in the team and I’m sure Matt will lead by example. It’s a great achievement to play six Homes in a row.”
Paul Broadhurst secured the Scottish Senior Open title for a second time with a three-stroke victory at Renaissance Club.
The Englishman, who won this title on his European Senior Tour debut in 2015, carded rounds of 66-67-67 to finish three shots ahead of Australia’s Mike Harwood.
Winner of the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Carnoustie last year, this is Broadhurst’s third victory on Scottish soil in four events.
Meantime, In-Kyung Kim of South Korea won the Ricoh Women’s British Open for her first major title at Kingsbarns, but it was far from the procession that many had predicted.
Kim began the day with a six-stroke lead after posting a record 54-hole total of 17-under-par, but England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff came storming through the field with a women’s course-record equalling eight-under-par 64 to set the clubhouse target at 16-under and get within two strokes of the leader.
Kim, normally known for her incredible putting, birdied the first and eighth holes but her momentum stalled with a three-putt bogey on the ninth hole and she came home with nine pars to win by two strokes.
With rounds of 65, 68, 66 and 71, the 29-year-old from Seoul finished with a total of 18-under-par 270 to claim her fourth Ladies European Tour title and her 10th professional win in total, worth £387,996.
Elsewhere, Glencruitten’s Robert MacIntrye made the cut having received an invitation to this week’s Challenge Tour event in Finland. The leading Scots amateur tied for 53rd at the weather-shortened event.
Russell Knox, meanwhile, enjoyed a return to form with a tie for fifth place at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Akron, Ohio.