Two weeks out from the Open Championship, it was looking like Scotland was going to have its poorest representation in terms of numbers at the third major of the year since 2006.

Prior to yesterday’s Final Qualifying, which was held over four courses with only twelve spots available in total, only Sandy Lyle, Scott Jamieson and Russell Knox had secured a place in the field at Carnoustie but in one fell swoop, the number of Scots who will be on show at golf’s showpiece event of the summer shot up to five.

Impressive performances from amateur Sam Locke and Grant Forrest at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian, the sole Scottish venue for Final Qualifying, saw both grab spots at Carnoustie, with both equally delighted at the prospect of teeing up alongside the world’s best.

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Locke recorded a solid first round of 69 before a sparkling 66 in his second, which included spectacularly holing out at the fifth from the bunker for an eagle, saw him sign for the best total score of the day at -7.

The reigning Scottish Amateur champion will make his major championship debut at Carnoustie and the 19-year-old from Stonehaven could barely hide his joy at making it into his first Open field.

And having had his first experience of playing Carnoustie just last month, he admits he cannot wait to get back there.

“Obviously I can’t wait to be playing in The Open,” the teenager said. 

“I’ve always wanted to play in that event so, to qualify for it at my first attempt, I’m obviously delighted. 

“I was very solid tee-to-green. I holed a couple of putts and had a couple of things go my way – like the bunker shot going in for me.

“I guess you need a couple of things like that to happen, just to get you there.

“‘I can’t wait for Carnoustie. I played there about a month ago for the first time, so I’m looking forward to going back. I shot level par so I’d take that again!”

Locke is a member of the Paul Lawrie Foundation – and he also works in the coffee shop at the centre under the watchful eye of Lawrie’s wife, Marian - and he admits there are few better mentors to be able to turn to than a previous Open winner on the very course he will be teeing up on in a fortnight. 

“I’ve had a lot of help from Paul,” Locke said. 

“I’ve been supported by him for a number of years and he’s been helping me a lot with my course management, as well.

“It’s brilliant to have a guy like that to turn to – and I’ll definitely be asking him about Carnoustie.

“He might come down and walk a practice round with me, possibly. We’ll see what he says.

“But I’m back at work today in the coffee shop in the golf centre – and I was working on Monday too. I’ll need to ask for the week off for The Open.”

Forrest ensured he joined Locke in Carnoustie with two solid rounds of 67 and 69 to finish on -6, with the 25-year-old from Craigielaw admitting that he was satisfied with his consistency over the two rounds.

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“I remember last time (I qualified), it took a while to settle in,” the North Berwick native said. 

“This might be the same. I was excellent tee to green and just a few errors with the short stick on the back nine coming in, but overall really happy with the way I played.”

Forrest is a former Scottish Under 16, Scottish Boys and Scottish Amateur champion and is currently the top Scot in Challenge Tour rankings. He has played in the Open once before, in 2013 at Muirfield as an amateur but having gained five years experience since his last Open appearance, he admits he will feel far more comfortable going into this year’s championship than he did on his debut where he played alongside major winner mark O’Meara but the Scot missed the cut.

“I’m definitely more mature this time around,” he said. 

“At Carnoustie, I feel I’ll be much better equipped than five years ago. Then it was more about the experience than anything else and getting in that environment. This year though, I feel like I could do something.”

“When you turn up as an amateur, it’s all new to you - big crowds and big attention. It’s more just being in the environment and being comfortable in that, that’s huge. 

“Coming out as a pro in general, playing there and knowing you deserve to be there and you’re good enough to be there - that’s the biggest thing.

The final qualifying spot from the Renaissance was taken by Englishman Thomas Curtis, who finished on -5, with Scotland’s Scott Henry missing out by one place on -3.