Monday, October 17, 2011

Tom Lewis lands first expert title in Portugal

Posted by Admin On 10:30 AM


England's Tom Lewis confirmed his superstar potential when he shaped a dramatic finish to win the Portugal Masters on only his third start as a professional. Three months after firing the lowest-ever round by an part-time in the Open, the 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden had another 65 as he took the £375,166 first prize by two stroke from Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
Tiger Woods needed five contests to land his first professional title, while Rory McIlroy did not taste success until his 38th European Tour event.I've not thought about the money - I was thinking about winning,said the new champion, who had an incredible 22 birdies and only one bogey in the last 52 holes.
Lewis, who a month ago was playing in the part-time Walker Cup, was only in seventh spot with seven holes to go at Oceanico Victoria. But he two-putted the long 12th and then had four more birdies in a row from the 14th.
Suddenly, with previous joint leaders Peter Hanson, Christian Nilsson, Felipe Aguilar and Cabrera-Bello all finding water toward the inside the closing stretch, Lewis was three clear. He kept his nerve to par the unsafe final hole and had to wait the best part of an hour before a victory that changes his life was confirmed.
Instead of facing a trip to the Tour school in December - he enter the week 234th on the Tour money list and 621st in the world - he is exempt for two seasons and a rich young man already.I would not have expected this at all,he added.I was really dreading going to the qualifying school at the end of the year, but it looks like I've skipped that.
Instead he will be creation a World Championship debut in China next month and leaps to third place on the Ryder Cup points table. Lewis, shocked to have won so early in his vocation, has his feet on the ground, however, and stated:I'm a long way behind Rory and have a long way to go.
To have two years on the European Tour, I would not have dreamt that at the start of the week, so I'm really pleased.Amazingly, Lewis was five strokes outside the middle cut mark when he bogeyed the opening two holes of his second round on Friday.
But he turned that into a 64, was four at the back Cabrera-Bello with 18 holes to go and seized his chance brightly as those ahead of him made mistake. After headfirst to six feet on the 14th, he drove the green at the 315-yard next, two-putted for another birdie, made a 25-footer from the fringe of the short 16th and two-putted again on the par five 17th.

 

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