Sam Locke still learning but confident he will 'get there eventually'
Fresh from landing his fourth title triumph on the Challenge Tour feeder circuit by winning a play-off in the Pollok Open, Locke spearheads the line up for the Dundonald Links Classic presented by Murray Capital.
“I won it last year at Dundonald Links, so it would be nice to go and defend that one,” said the Abernonian, who handed himself a timely boost by coming out in a sudden-death shoot-out with Chris Curran and Jack McDonald at Pollok.
“I’ve struggled a wee bit recently,” he added. “It’s always the same in golf. Sometimes it feels a million miles away when it never is, really. But I’m delighted to find a bit of form last week and hopefully that can kick me on and see what I can do for the rest of the season.”
Locke’s three previous victories on Paul Lawrie’s circuit had come in 36-hole events but this latest one was over 54 holes, which the leading trio covered in 12-under-par at the tight and testing Glasgow venue.
“The events are great and it’s obviously brilliant for all of us to have a Challenge Tour up for grabs as well,” said Locke of that reward going to the player who tops the Order of Merit at the end of the 13-even campaign.
“It’s a long season and, though I know I hadn’t had my best results in the first few events, there’s a long, long way to go and I know that I am capable of winning events on here. I just need to keep my head down and kick on.”
Due to having two upcoming starts on the Challenge Tour - the first is in France next week the second one the week after in Italy - Locke hasn’t entered The Open qualifying on this occasion.
“With other events going on, I just decided it wasn’ for me this year,” said the player who shared the spotlight with Claret Jug winner Francesco Molinari as he was presented with the Silver Medal as leading amateur at Carnoustie in 2018.
While it may be taking a little longer than he’d have liked on the back of that big week, Locke is quietly confident that he can get himself onto the Challenge Tour and then step up to the DP World Tour.
“I know how good I can be,” he said. “I’ve just got to learn to do my own thing and play the way I can and it will happen. It isn’t easy because you want to be at the highest level as soon as you can, especially when you see guys up there that you’ve played with. Things happen for a reason. It’s all part of the learning process and I’ll get there eventually.”
Meanwhile, 20 Scots are in the field for the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying stage in the Amateur Championship, which starts at Hillside and Southport & Ainsdale on Monday.
Walker Cup squad members Calum Scott and Connor Graham will have their sights on the coveted R&A title, while other flying the Saltire include national champion Oli Mukherjee and California-based Niall Shiels Donegan.
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