Scottish golf’s man of the moment Sam Locke “can’t wait to get going” when he embarks on his career as a professional in the Swedish Challenge tomorrow.
The 19-year-old from Stonehaven is teeing up in the Robert Karlsson-hosted event at Katrineholms Golfklubb less than a fortnight after picking up the Silver Medal as leading amateur in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“I’m really excited for my first event as a pro and I can’t wait to get going,” said Locke, who will have fellow Scot Jack McDonald for company in his first outing in the paid ranks. “The course is great, it’s in lovely condition and I really enjoyed playing today, roll on Thursday.
It’s my first professional tournament so I’m just coming in and trying to do the best I can and try my hardest. Wherever that leads me, then what will be will be.
“It’s a good feeling to be the top amateur in The Open and to make the cut. I had a poor finish there; the back nine on Sunday wasn’t great but you learn lots from that and you take that into this week. I’ll be aiming just to enjoy it and do the best I can.
“I’ve only played one professional tournament and this is my first playing as a pro, so I’m just going out to enjoy it and do the best I can.”
Locke made his switch straight away after Carnoustie rather than waiting to defend his Scottish Amateur Championship title at Blairgowrie this week.
“I just felt now was the right time and I just feel like I dealt with things well at The Open,” he added. “I really enjoyed the fact that there were lots of crowds and media and things; I just enjoyed the whole professional feel.
“I thought now was a nice time because of things that come with winning the Silver Medal. I’ve always wanted to turn professional but that obviously accelerated it.
“It was a decision taken with family. I won the Scottish Amateur last year and that’s on now so I could’ve gone and tried to defend it but I just felt the time was right to turn pro.”
Locke is mentored by 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie and has signed with the Five Star Sports Agency, a new company set up by the Aberdonian.
“Paul’s obviously given me some advice and you’ve got to treat it as any other tournament,” said Locke. “I’m going to have to get used to it; I’m a professional now and I just can’t wait for all the tournaments coming up.
“He’s been helpful because he’s been and done everything and to have a guy like that is pretty cool to have there and I feel like I’ve got to make the most of this opportunity.”