Meeting Open great Watson is icing on cake for silver Sam

22/07/18 THE 147TH OPEN FINAL DAY ' CARNOUSTIE ' Scotland's Sam Locke receives the silver medal award as the leading amateur.
22/07/18 THE 147TH OPEN FINAL DAY ' CARNOUSTIE ' Scotland's Sam Locke receives the silver medal award as the leading amateur.

An audience with five-time winner Tom Watson was an added bonus for Sam Locke before he collected the Silver Medal as leading amateur in the 147th Open Championship.

Now the 19-year-old honorary member at Banchory will sit down this week with another player whose name is on the Claret Jug to decide his future.

“I haven’t spoken to Sam or his dad yet about his future plans,” said 1999 winner Paul Lawrie, who mentors Sam, having watched the Stonehaven player do him and his foundation proud at Carnoustie on his debut in the game’s oldest major.

Before the event started, Sam’s intention was to stay in the amateur ranks to try to make the Walker Cup at Royal­ Liverpool next September. After showing he can handle himself on a stage like this, though, turning professional sooner rather than later is now a possibility. “We had a quick chat before the thing started and Andrew [Sam’s dad and caddie for the week] mentioned that he wanted to play Walker Cup next year. Whether this will influence that I don’t know yet,” added Lawrie on Sunday.

“I plan a wee sit down on Monday, as I do anyway whether he has a good week or a bad week. So Monday we will find out more about what he is thinking.”

While not always a guide about what might lie ahead for winners, Sam joined the likes of Jose Maria Olazabal (1985), Tiger Woods (1996), Justin Rose (1998) and Rory McIlroy (2007) in picking up the coveted Silver Medal. He’s the first Scot to achieve the feat since Lloyd Saltman at St Andrews in 2005.

“Not only did he win the Silver Medal, he was the only Scot to make the cut, a phenomenal performance,” said Lawrie, speaking at Carnoustie as a Loch Lomond Whiskies ambassador. “Considering this is the biggest golf event in the world, I think he has done a great job this week.

“The difficult thing, and we want to be careful, is that we don’t want to go totally overboard on this, and he needs to know that. He has a long way to go, and I don’t want that to sound patronising or to shoot him down. But my job now is to have a chat with him, and tell him, ‘Right Sam, you’ve won the Silver

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