The Open 2018: Sam Locke leads Scottish challenge at Carnoustie

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Carnoustie
Sam Locke
Sam Locke closed his round with a birdie on 18
The 147th Open Championship
Venue: Carnoustie, Scotland Dates: 19-22 July
Coverage: Live across BBC Radio, highlights on BBC TV and online, live text commentaries on BBC website.

Sam Locke will go back to his part-time job at Paul Lawrie's golf centre in Aberdeen once he has done playing in this Open Championship at Carnoustie.

On Thursday's evidence, his boss might have to wait a few days for the 19-year-old amateur's return.

Locke played wonderfully in his opening round, shooting a one-over par 72 and outscoring a galaxy of golfing stars in the process.

To get an angle on how good that was, Locke is ahead of Phil Mickelson on the leaderboard. Not just Mickelson either. Ernie Els, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia are all looking up at him.

His 72 matched Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood. Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka. This bright young thing who was a month shy of his first birthday when Lawrie won the Claret Jug here all those years ago. What a day he had out there.

"I didn't feel like I was that much in control of the ball, but I made a lot of nice putts," said Locke.

If he can shoot one-over when he is struggling for control, then it augurs well for when he has the ball on a string, if such a thing is possible around Carnoustie in Open week.

"I really enjoyed the whole experience. This is my first big pro event and it's as good as it gets," he said.

"I felt like I dealt with it quite well, especially early on. I was quite nervous. Maybe I didn't show, but it was good fun. And the birdie on 18 was lovely. It was a great feeling. I'm chuffed."

With his father and coach, Andrew, caddying for him and Lawrie, who has Locke as part of his Foundation, following his every move, this was a special day for the youngster, a golfer from the age of three.

This was by a million miles the biggest stage he has performed on. He was in a group with American Ryder Cup player and multiple PGA Tour winner, Brandt Snedeker.

On the first tee, Locke could have given Snedeker three shots and he still would have beaten him. As first bows go in The Open Championship, this was one he will never forget.

Lyle's 'little bit of bunker trouble'

Sandy Lyle was the first of the five-strong Scottish contingent out on the course, striking the opening tee shot at 06:35 BST.

In his 43rd Open, he was going along nicely at level par until he reached the 13th, which he double bogeyed after finding an horrendous spot in a greenside bunker and then taking three shots to get out it.

That was the way of things on his Open debut at Lytham in 1974, and at Carnoustie it was the moment that a nice round started to get away from him. He finished with a four-over-par 75.

"The first bunch of holes were fine. After nine holes, I was happy [on one under] then I got in a little bit of bunker trouble," he said.

Scott Jamieson is on the same mark as Lyle after six bogeys and two birdies, while Grant Forrest is a further five shots back after a chastening, birdie-free 80.

And Russell Knox was left to rue a bogey on 18, which left him signing for a two-over 73.

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