Liberton teen enjoys dream golf lesson after amputation trauma

Thomas's skill with a club led to his meeting with Paul Lawrie and the famous Claret Jug
Thomas's skill with a club led to his meeting with Paul Lawrie and the famous Claret Jug
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WHEN Thomas Brock had his leg amputated the day before his 17th birthday, he feared it might spell the end of his promising golf career.

But the determined teenager was soon back on the golf course and carrying on where he left off.

Despite having to play on one leg for two months before receiving a prosthetic limb, he maintained his impressive handicap of seven and helped his local club in Liberton to great success.

Now he has met his hero Paul Lawrie who was knocked out by Thomas’s success.

Eighteen-year-old Thomas, who has been a member of Liberton Golf Club since the age of 13, was left “shell-shocked” when he was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma in April 2011 after finding a lump on his foot.

He said: “It was a shock to the system but I’ve always had the attitude that there’s always someone worse off than you.

“The doctors gave me the option to have the lower half of my left leg amputated – something I found very hard to come to terms with – but I knew in the long run it would give me the best chance of a cure.”

The former Liberton High School pupil has not let the operation hold him back in any way, passing his driving test three weeks after the operation at the Royal Infirmary.

His parents, Thomas, 52, and Elaine, 54, nominated him for Sky Sports News’s My Special Day – which follows five courageous youngsters as they fulfil a dream and meet their sporting idols - and last week received a surprise golf lesson from former Open Champion and Ryder Cup star Paul Lawrie in Aberdeen.

The episode was broadcast yesterday and will be shown again on Sky Sports 2 on New Year’s Day.

Thomas, who was photographed with Paul and the Claret Jug, said: “I knew the cameras were coming to the golf club, but I thought it was to talk about the Junior Championships. I had no idea what was in store. When I saw that I would meet Paul Lawrie, my face was a picture.

“Paul introduced me to his coach, Andrew Locke, and they gave me a lesson. It was absolutely amazing.

“To my shock, Paul handed me a bag which contained clothing, some signed Ryder Cup photos and books, golf balls and lots more.”

Thomas, who works as a stove fitter, passed his automatic car driving test less than a month after his operation in June 2011.

He added: “After I was discharged from hospital, I was playing golf on one leg until I received a prosthetic leg. The first time I went to the golf club after the operation, I shot a 73.

“After a few months I was given a new golf leg, which has a spinning hinge inside. This allows me to rotate more easily and get through the ball a lot better.”

Thomas will travel to Malaga with Liberton to represent Scotland in the Junior Home Nations Final in March.