Lewis can be inspired by Rose's $11m rise

 

Tom Lewis makes his professional debut at the Austrian Open today for what will arguably be the most high-profile bow of an English golfer since Justin Rose in 1998. And if the 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden City wants to envisage just how far a boy wonder can rise, he need only look to the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Now 31, Rose is one of the favourites to win the FedEx Cup and a $10m (£6.5m) bonus, which would be the largest cheque received by a British sportsman since Lennox Lewis beat Mike Tyson in 2002. Indeed, if Rose could win the Tour Championship, the climactic event in the PGA Tour's play-off series, he would scoop $11.35m. Not bad for a man who missed his first 21 cuts in the paid ranks.

Rose's victory at last Sunday's BMW Championship in Chicago hurtled him to third in the FedEx Cup, one place above his countryman Luke Donald. And although it's feasible for anyone in the 30-man field to collect the jackpot, only the top five can be sure of doing so if they prevail. The other three – Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar – all happen to be American so there is also national pride at stake for the English duo.

As world No 1, and as the most consistent player on the planet, Donald's chance will be respected. The 33-year-old missed golf's biggest day by a solitary shot last year, when Jim Furyk managed to get up and down from a bunker on the 18th. But Donald is a stronger, more confident performer this time around. "It's never been done before," he pointed out, when asked what it would mean to win both the US and European versions of the Order of Merit. As Donald has the Race to Dubai all but in the bag, this would be huge consolation for remaining majorless – both in terms of finance and prestige.

Rose, however, may just have the edge on the back of his first success in 15 months. He has always been a peaks-and-troughs golfer, as he has proven by clambering his way back into the world's top 30 on four different occasions in a frenetic career. And his purple spell in 2010, when he won twice in three PGA Tour events having fired 161 previous blanks in America, affords him obvious hope.

"Look at last summer," said Rose yesterday. "My game suddenly got hot and I managed to keep it going for a good few weeks. So hopefully I can do more of the same this time around. I spoke last week about having nothing to lose because I hadn't even qualified for this Tour Championship. It's still the same mindset. My thinking is 'just let it ride'."

Rose would give the same advice to Lewis; 5,000 miles away in Atzenbrugg and 13 years apart in experience. Like Rose and his fourth place as an amateur in the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale, Lewis shot into the public eye with his own non-paid heroics in the British major. Lewis's 65 in the first round at Sandwich was the best score by amateur in the 151-year history of the tournament and fired up the hype bandwagon.

"I don't know Tom, but it looks like he can handle the pressure, but there's a big difference between being a very good amateur and being a Tour pro," said Rose, who was happy Lewis decided to play the Walker Cup before signing contracts. "I don't really remember that time – it's a bit of a haze. It may be the same for Tom at the moment when you're caught up in everything. He must just enjoy it."

Lewis may not feel he has the time for any enjoyment. He is determined to earn his Tour card by winning the £210,000 he requires in the seven invites he is allowed before the end of the season. "It's a big ask but I can do it," said Lewis, who will tee off this morning with Paul Cutler, the Irishman who also turned pro after the Walker Cup. "After all, Rory [McIlroy] did it a few years back."

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower