HIS accent is well and truly American and his dad is one of England’s greatest golfers but Sean Jacklin remains a proud Scot. He’ll also be the sole Scot in next week’s 122nd US Open at Brookline.

Born in Biggar, when his venerated faither, Tony, lived near the South Lanarkshire town back in the 1990s, Jacklin jnr is relishing the opportunity to hoist the saltire on one of the game’s biggest stages. “I’m proud to fly that flag,” he said with a burst of patriotic gusto that could’ve been accompanied by a skirl of the pipes.

“I could’ve represented England or the US. But I don’t want to be ingenuine. Scotland is the country I was born in and I’ve always loved it.”

Based in Florida for most of his life, Jacklin has chipped away at a variety of golfing coalfaces since turning professional over a decade ago.

While his dad was Open champion in 1969 and the winner of the US Open the following year, Sean will be getting his first taste of major championship golf next week.

Given the scale of his father’s achievements, the pressure of having the Jacklin surname in the fickle, unforgiving business of the pro game could’ve added the kind of hefty burden that Atlas used to heave on his shoulders. Sean doesn’t see it that way, however.

“If I was worried about being Tony Jacklin’s son, and that was the predominant thought in my head when I played golf, then I don’t think I’d fare very well,” said the 30-year-old. “Yes, he’s a two-time major winner and a Hall of Famer but he’s just dad to me. And he’s my biggest fan. He says he gets frustrated with me for not knowing how good a golfer I am. His dad was a coalminer and would tell him ‘you’ve got two arms, two legs and a head so there’s nothing to hold you back’. We all have to find our own path in whatever we choose to do.”

Jacklin’s path to the US showpiece, meanwhile, was one riddled with potential perils and pitfalls. During local qualifying back in May, he finished as one of the reserves and had to nibble his nails at the sectional qualifier last week to see if he would actually get the opportunity to play in the final, 36-hole shoot-out.

“I got the last reserve spot,” said Jacklin, who made the most of this little helping hand from the golfing gods by sharing first place in the scramble and earning one of just four qualifying spots from a field of 70 hopefuls. “You do need a bit of good fortune in this game. As you get older, you wonder if you will ever get the chance to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Just before the final qualifier, I signed up for the PGA training programme to become a PGA pro and have a back-up plan for the future. 

"I love teaching, but it’s not my goal. I still want play on tour. And then, suddenly, I got into the US Open and have now given myself a huge opportunity on the biggest platform. I want to embrace it and enjoy it. Moments like this keep you going.

“I’ve had a few heartbreaks at qualifying schools down the seasons and I’ve been down the road of negativity, feeling sorry for myself and going back to the drawing board. What often gets in my way is my desire to do well. The things you want most in life are the hardest to get. So you try too hard sometimes. My best golf comes out when I’m free and unencumbered by myself and that’s the perspective I need to adopt next week.”

A proud father to six-month-old daughter, Margot, this US Open outing will be a real family affair as the Jacklin clan, and various friends and relatives, descend on Brookline.

“It's my first Father’s Day next Sunday,” he said of a day which coincides with the final round of the championship. “Before I played in local qualifying, my wife asked me what I’d like for Father’s Day. I said, ‘I’d love to have a week at the US Open’. Before last week’s final qualifier when I was still a reserve, she asked me again and I said ‘I still want to get into the US Open but it probably won’t happen now’. But it did. Little things like that make this very special.”

Jacklin jnr now has a real chance to make a name for himself.