Paul Lawrie warned Sam Locke not to get “starry-eyed” in this week’s Open Championship when he accompanied the 19-year-old in a practice round at Carnoustie on Monday.
Sam, an honorary member at Banchory Golf Club after playing there as a junior before switching to Stonehaven, has come through the Paul Lawrie Foundation and was already being mentored by the 1999 Open champion when he won the Scottish Amateur at Prestwick last summer.
Now Sam has benefited from the advice of the man who won the Open at Carnoustie in the build-up to his major debut.
Sam earned his spot in the field by winning one of the final qualifiers at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian earlier this month.
“We have to remember he is an amateur and playing in the Open for a first time, so I sat down with him and had a really long chat about what’s coming up and how he should manage his practice rounds and what he will need to deal with,” said Paul, whose Paul Lawrie Golf Centre ran Inchmarlo Golf Centre until May this year.
He was speaking at the launch of a new book, ‘The Lost Art of Putting’, having written the foreword, and added: “He is clearly keen to take in the whole atmosphere in what will be the biggest event he’s played in but he must get his head around it.
“He plays his golf, he undertakes a little bit of practice.
“He can’t hang about these tournaments with stars in his eyes, so it’s all about getting that into his head.
“But he can play golf and we are really excited he can cope with the pressure and all that goes with teeing up in the Open.”
Sam tees off in the first group of the second round at Carnoustie at 6.35am today along with American Brandt Snedeker and Cameron Davis of Australia.
Another Open entrant, Russell Knox of Inverness, met four Aboyne Golf Club juniors, Murray Crawford, Fergus Anderson, Nicholas Smith and Hamish McLardy, plus adults Jim Cowper and Terry Atkinson, at the Scottish Open at Gullane last week.
Hot off his win at the Irish Open the previous week – and now back inside the top 50 players in the world as the highest ranked Scot – Russell gave up a precious hour of his time to talk to the youngsters about life on tour as a PGA professional. He also gave the Aboyne members signed Srixon hats as a memento of their trip.
In the Open draw, Russell has been grouped with multi-major champion Tiger Woods, a three-time Open winner, and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, teeing off at 10.20am today.