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Justin Rose hopes his Birkdale heroics can inspire Stonehaven amateur

Justin Rose is one of the favourites for this week's Open championship at Carnoustie.
Justin Rose is one of the favourites for this week's Open championship at Carnoustie.

Justin Rose hopes his Birkdale heroics of 20 years ago can serve as inspiration for Stonehaven amateur Sam Locke ahead of his Open debut.

Rose exploded onto the scene as an amateur in the 1998 Open when he chipped in from the rough on the final hole to finish tied fourth.

Locke is one four amateurs in the field in with the chance of winning the silver medal and Rose has urged the 19-year-old to soak up the occasion and aim to finish as high up the leaderboard as possible.

He said: “I wish him a great week. It’s eye-opening just being here and it’s such a thrill.

“I haven’t seen him around or met him yet but I think it is a great opportunity to get some real insight by playing practice rounds with as many good players as you can.

“You can really learn from these guys, see how they go about their business and ask as many questions as possible.

“On the golf course, I’m sure he is a great player to be here so he has to believe in himself.

“If there is a moment you can get on the leaderboard then it will be a great experience.

“You have to go in with a Cinderella story, knowing it’s possible.

“I think we always see an amateur do well at some point during the week and hopefully it can be Sam.”

The 2013 US Open champion is also upbeat about his own chances at Carnoustie this week, despite his underwhelming record in the major.

His tied fourth finish at Birkdale 20 years ago remains the closest he has come to lifting the Claret Jug.

He said: “I’m kind of comfortable with how bad my record’s been here.

“It’s nothing new to me and I don’t feel like there’s a reason for it either.

“I feel like I’ve created some better opportunities in The Open than my record suggests.

“I know I can play links golf really well even though I maybe haven’t threatened in this tournament as much as I would have liked.

“I have won the Scottish Open (at Royal Aberdeen) and played well at the Dunhill Links and on these type of golf courses.

“I’ve come in here as confident as I could be.”

Rose, meanwhile, is still working out whether he will adopt an attacking or defensive strategy at Carnoustie this week.

He added: “The beauty of this golf course is that length isn’t a necessity, which brings the whole field into it.

“But there are players like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka who are going to take it on and if they have a great week off the tee, they can do a lot of damage.

“I haven’t formulated my game plan yet.

“It’s probably going to be a mixture of both, knowing which pins are birdie opportunities and which pins to respect.

“It is not going to be easy but there are going to be scores to be had early in the week if the winds aren’t too strong.

“With stronger winds forecast over the weekend, I think you’re going to have guys with a chance to score early in the week and it will be tough going into the weekend.

“I think that’s the perfect major championship scenario.”

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