Clear head helps Sam Locke win Dundonald Links Classic on Tartan Pro Tour

Sam Locke landed a third title triumph on the Tartan Pro Tour as a clear head helped him come out on top in the Dundonald Links Classic.

The 23-year-old carded rounds of 73-67 at the Ayrshire venue for a four-under total, winning by a shot from fellow Scot Rory Smith and England’s Christian Brown as they both signed for 72-69.

Locke won the inaugural event on the circuit at Carnoustie in August 2020 before also claiming victory at Kilmarnock (Barassie) last year. He’s now become the first three-time winner on Paul Lawrie’s circuit.

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“For most of this year so far, my game has been good,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of work with my dad, who is my coach, and also with psychologist John Mathers.

“The things I am working on are enabling me to think clearer and make better decisions on the course, which has meant that when I’ve not been quite at my game I’ve still been able to produce results this season.

“I felt like a win had been coming and, thankfully, that has now happened.”

Locke, who turned pro after winning the Silver Medal in the 2018 Open at Carnoustie, is confident that he can start climbing the ladder in the next year or two.

“I know how well I can play, I know what I am capable of doing. It’s just a case of going out there and doing it,” he added.

Sam Locke celebrates his win in the Dundonald Links Classic in Ayrshire. Picture: Tartan Pro Tour

“I think patience is an important thing and I think something I’ve also learned over the past six to eight months is that it’s not always going to go your way.

“Some days you are going to play well and just not get the rub of the green, but that’s golf. I’m focusing on things I can control and the outcomes take care of themselves.”

Locke’s next event is the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge at Newmachar, where he’ll be joined by Jack McDonald after he secured a spot up for grabs through the Tartan Pro Tour Order of Merit.

“I’m getting some starts on the Challenge Tour through Paul Lawrie’s management company now having the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge at Newmachar,” said Locke, who birdied the third, sixth, ninth, 13th and 14th in a bogey-free second circuit at Dundonald Links.

“Through that, I’m getting some invites, which is great, and my next event is that one at Newmachar.

“The plan is to do well enough on those invites to keep playing on the Challenge Tour, but I obviously have EuroPro Tour status as well and, if I need to, I will also play there.”

Lawrie set up the Tartan Pro Tour to provide playing opportunities for home-based players during the Covid pandemic. The schedule has grown over the last two years, as have the size of the fields.

“I think I can speak on behalf of all the players by saying that we are absolutely delighted to have these events to play in,” said Locke.

“It’s great for us Scottish guys as those who play on the EuroPro Tour, a lot of the events are down London way.

They’ve just gotten stronger and stronger. Some Challenge Tour players have been playing, as has Davie Law on a couple of occasions. It’s good to be competing against these guys week in, week out.”

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