Stonehaven amateur Sam Locke is savouring every second of his Open experience but is determined to prove he can compete with the world’s best.
The 19-year-old, who won the Scottish amateur at Prestwick last summer, earned his spot at Carnoustie by winning one of the Open final qualifiers at The Renaissance Club earlier this month.
Locke, who had only played Carnoustie once before this week, said: “The whole experience has been brilliant so far. It is pretty cool seeing all the grandstands and the different players on the range. It is the biggest event there is with all the best players in the world so you have to embrace it.
“It is a chance to show everyone what I can do. You have to be positive and enjoy the experience.
“It is great going down the 18th with all the grandstands.
“I know people say I have nothing to lose this week but obviously I have my own goals I have set for myself.
“I will be trying to do the best I can to make a name for myself on the biggest stage.
“I am approaching it the same way I would any tournament so I will see what I can do.”
Locke played 18 holes on Monday under the watchful eye of mentor Paul Lawrie, who won the 1999 Open at Carnoustie.
Locke, who had to take time off from working at the café in the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre to take part this week, said: “Having Paul walk round with me was very useful.
“Obviously I have to develop a plan that suits me. The way that Paul sees a hole may not be a shot that I like and vice versa but having him there is a massive help.
“The course is really firm but it is good. The greens are a little softer but the fairways are very firm.
“Some of the shots downwind are going really far. The numbers you are writing down for maximum distance sound a bit silly at the time.
“It is a proper links test.”
Locke tees off at 11.36am tomorrow alongside eight-time PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker and Aussie pro Cameron Davis. The group will be first out on Friday at 6.35am.
He added: “It is a great draw. I can’t wait.
“Brandt Snedeker has had an amazing career. I’m sure we will have fun. I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m happy with the times. I don’t mind being first out. Hopefully I can get out there early and post a number.”