Silver Medal winner Locke dreaming of McIlroy meeting
They say never meet your heroes but Sam Locke could be standing next to his later today after securing the Silver Medal at The 147th Open – and he can’t wait.
As the only non-professional to make the cut, the Scotsman won the Silver Medal, given out to the best amateur, and the last man to do that at Carnoustie could join him on the podium.
The Angus links was where Rory McIlroy announced himself as a star in the making by being the low amateur in 2007, and he is in the hunt for the Claret Jug this time around.
Locke, whose rounds of 72, 73, 70 and 78 saw him end nine-over for the week, admits the Northern Irishman is an idol of his and they could meet for the first time on Sunday afternoon at the trophy presentation.
“I've never met Rory yet, no, but we'll see. Hopefully,” said Locke.
“It's obviously a good feeling to know that I'm in the company of him, he's obviously a phenomenal player and one of my idols."
Of the other amateurs in the field, Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark missed the cut by three strokes at six-over, Chinese youngster Yuxin Lin finished at +12 and South Africa's Jovan Rebula - the nephew of two-time Champion Golfer Ernie Els - ended on 16-over.
The weekend of The Open can be an overawing experience but Locke looked cool as a cucumber on Saturday, firing a one-under par round of 70 thanks to a birdie at the last.
Sunday proved tougher as he carded a seven-over round of 78 but it was already a case of job done for the 19-year-old.
He only learnt he survived the cut at three-over while watching the golf on his sofa Friday night, and hugs with mum and dad followed swiftly.
“It was a long day. It was looking -- as soon as I finished, I thought I might miss by one, but I was just watching all day,” he said.
“It was looking kind of likely, but then, you know, you never know what's going to happen, especially with the finish that we have here at Carnoustie. I tried to just chill out. What will be, will be. Thankfully, I got in.
“I thought I played a bit better on Saturday off the tee, more in control of the ball. Just made a few more silly errors, but we'll learn from it, and we won't do it again.”
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