Scotland's Sam Locke leaves it late to qualify for 2019 Open Championship

Sam Locke
Sam Locke

Scotland's Sam Locke, who won the silver medal as leading amateur 12 months ago, qualified for the Open Championship for the second year running in final qualifying.

Locke, who was the only amateur to make the cut at Carnoustie, carded rounds of 69 and 67 at Fairmont St Andrews to claim the third available place at Royal Portrush in a fortnight's time.

American amateur Brandon Wu led the way with superb rounds of 64 and 67 to finish nine under par and three shots ahead of Scotland's Connor Syme, who shot matching rounds of 67, with Locke two strokes further back.

"Having come through final qualifying last year it was good to go out and do that again today and I am over the moon," Locke said. "I knew I wasn't far away from doing something good and, thankfully, I picked the right day to do it."

At Prince's Golf Club, English amateur Curtis Knipes topped the leaderboard alongside Callum Shinkwin on nine under par, with Canada's Austin Connelly claiming the remaining place on eight under.

"I'm lost for words," Knipes said. "It's huge to get into The Open, the best competition in the world. I wasn't that nervous, I had nothing to lose.

"I played at Royal Portrush last year in the Boys Amateur and got to the last 16. It's unreal, so tough but spectacular."

Knipes, 18, also came through regional qualifying and will be joined at Portrush by fellow amateur Thomas Thurloway, who finished second behind Andrew Wilson at Hollinwell, where Ashton Turner beat David Coupland on the third play-off hole for the final berth.

There were three English qualifiers at St Annes Old Links with former amateur champion Garrick Porteous, Jack Senior and Matthew Baldwin securing places in the final major of the year.

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