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Locke 'over the moon' after qualifying for The Open

The 20-year-old professional has qualified for the major event for a second year.

Locke: The pro golfer is delighted to qualify for The Open.
Locke: The pro golfer is delighted to qualify for The Open. STV

Reporting by Ben Philip

Scottish golfer Sam Locke says he's "over the moon" after qualifying for The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

It's the second time the 20-year-old has qualified for the major event after winning the Silver Medal at Carnoustie last year as leading amateur.

This year he returns as a professional having taken the decision to fulfil a lifelong ambition to compete alongside the world's biggest names in golf.

The Aberdeen golfer carded a second round 67 at Fairmont St Andrews on Tuesday as 288 players battled for 12 Open places at the Scottish qualifier.

Locke's father Andrew will again caddie for his son.

Last year he confessed the nerves probably got to him more than Sam, describing it as a "massive emotional rollercoaster".

'Last year was the most nervous I had ever been on that first tee at Carnoustie - it's something I'll never forget...but I now know what to expect a bit more now.'
Sam Locke

Sam will be joined by Scottish compatriots Connor Syme, Paul Lawrie, Russell Knox and Robert MacIntyre when the 148th Open Championship tees off on July 14 in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to STV News, Locke said: "I'm over the moon, it's a great feeling.

"I feel like my game hasn't been too far away recently, and I've been playing well, but not really putting it altogether in a tournament, so thankfully I picked the right time to do it.

"I can't believe how fast the past year has gone. I've learnt so much playing pro golf and I think you learn a lot faster playing against the top players.

"I definitely feel like I've become a better player in a short space of time, but there's still a long way to go."

He added: "Last year was the most nervous I had ever been on that first tee at Carnoustie - it's something I'll never forget...but I now know what to expect a bit more now.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing it again. I like the feeling and hopefully I can do well.

"I've worked really hard to get here, so it's nice to be rewarded again with a spot in the biggest event there is.

"I've got such great memories from last year, so I'm hoping to make more good ones this year."

Locke now turns his attention to Scottish Open qualifying this weekend as he tries to secure a spot at The Renaissance where he led the field in British Open qualifying last year.

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