Tom Lewis, the 20-year-old new professional from Welwyn Garden City, has taken his first tour win in only his third professional start. Lewis only turned pro in September 2011 and has already made his mark on the European Tour by winning the Portugal Masters at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura over the weekend of the 13th to the 16th of October 2011.
The young man from Welwyn Garden City celebrated a 2 shot victory over Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello. Lewis shot a seven under par 65 to snatch victory having stood in 8th place overnight. The first day did not really indicate what was to come over the next 3 days as he carded a 2 under par 70 ending up in 56th place. A 64 on his card on the second day saw him jump up to joint 8th where he remained after his third day’s 68.
At the start of play on the final day Lewis sat 4 shots adrift of tournament leader Cabrera-Bello, who must have felt confident having scored 69, 65 and 64 on the first three days. They were both tied in 8th place after round 2 with Cabrera-Bello’s splendid 64 giving him the lead going into the last day. Unfortunately for the Spaniard he only managed a score of 71 in his final round allowing Lewis’s 65 to take victory.
Over the last 52 holes of the Portugal Masters Lewis bogeyed only one hole but managed 22 birdies. There seems to be a very old and calm head on those shoulders, well anyone named after the great Tom Watson should have, shouldn’t they?
Maybe the writing was on the wall when Lewis shared a first round lead this year at the British Open in July at the Royal St George’s course, Sandwich, when he shot a 65 to record the lowest ever amateur score in the competition; a spooky point is that Lewis’s playing partner at the British Open was his father’s all time hero, Tom Watson, the man he was named after.
He was also part of the underdog Great Britain and Ireland team which captured the Walker Cup back from their US counterparts. In his first ever professional game in Austria he finished in the top ten.
Lewis has a very bright future in front of him and has put himself in a very comfortable position with this win; he will avoid Qualifying School in December and has a two-year exemption from it, he is currently in a pre-qualifying position in the Race to Dubai as he is now in the top 60 in the European Tour winnings list and he is also in third place on the Ryder Cup points table. The Portugal Masters scooped him a very nice £365,000 in winnings too.