Banchory’s Sam Locke emulated the achievement of Colin Montgomerie 30 years ago to storm to glory in the Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship at Prestwick.
The 18-year-old achieved his biggest success in the game after thumping Ryan Lumsden 9&8 to seal an automatic spot in the Scotland side for this month’s Men’s Home Internationals.
The last winner to achieve such a margin of victory in the 36-hole final was Ryder Cup stalwart Montgomerie at Nairn in 1987, when he defeated fellow Ayrshireman Alasdair Watt.
Locke, who is coached by his dad Andrew and is part of the Paul Lawrie Foundation, raced to a 5UP lead after nine holes before birdieing five of the last eight holes to remarkably lead 10UP at lunch.
When Locke’s tee shot came back off the wall at the 19th rather than going out of bounds, Lumsden surely knew it wasn’t his day. The Royal Wimbledon member battled back to eight down at the 23rd, helped with an eagle at the 21st, but back-to-back birdies from Locke at the 24th and 25th virtually ended the contest.
Locke, victorious from a 264-player field at this year’s new-look event, said: “Montgomerie is not a bad guy to follow in the footsteps of! I wouldn’t mind his career. I played really solid this morning, didn’t really do much wrong and holed a few putts. Whenever you do that you are going to be pretty hard to beat in matchplay.
“It’s nice to finally get a big win under my belt and hopefully I can kick on from here and enjoy more success. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and practice hard.”
Lumsden, who will join Locke in the Home Internationals side bound for Moortown, rued his poor start and said: “It was just one of those days. I didn’t hit it as good as I’ve hit it this week and I found myself in the semi rough a lot of times and did a poor job of controlling the ball from there.
“My putting was also very poor, and Sam played just great golf. The score says it all and he deserved to win. He was better than me today.”
Host venue Prestwick staged the championship for the ninth time, with John Gallagher the last winner at the venue in 2007.