Sam gets back in swing of things on Portugal Tour with his first pro title

Sam Locke wins Palmeras Open by four strokes
Sam Locke wins Palmeras Open by four strokes

Sam Locke had the Stonehaven clubhouse buzzing last week when news came through that he had won his first tournament as a pro.

Having tied second in the previous week’s Penina Classic in the Portugal Pro Tour, he won the Palmares Open by four shots after rounds of 65-64-64, 23 under par.

The Stonehaven man will now be full of confidence when he heads off later this month to compete on the 
Mena Tour, covering the Middle East and North Africa, as he strives to get a Challenge Tour this year.

The 21-year-old, who is also an honorary member at Banchory, won the Silver Medal as leading amateur in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Sam has been on fire on the Portugal Pro Golf Tour, backing up his joint second in the Penina Classic with his Palmares Open triumph.

The former Scottish Amateur champion won by four shots from England’s Ryan Evans at Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort. Sam carded an eagle and six birdies in the final round, including a strong closing burst of four gains in the last six holes.

Sam turned professional straight after his performance at Carnoustie and won a first-stage event in last season’s European Tour Qualifying School but was disappointed with his campaign on the third-tier PGA EuroPro Tour as he failed to make the 
season-ending Tour Championship in Spain.

“I knew it would come in the end, I just had to be pat-ient,” he said last week.

“I think to win at any level you have got to learn how to win. It is not easy, so it is really important to have done that and hopefully now I can keep working hard and push on and strive for more.”

“Sam and I had a chat over Christmas,” his mentor Paul Lawrie added last week. “He was starting to get a bit frustrated as I think it has taken him a little bit longer than he thought.

“He’s got a lot of talent and, while it’s not been a disaster for him so far, he expected to have played better up until now.

“I told him that his time will come and he follows up a second-place finish on the Portugal Pro Tour by winning this week, which is great.”