'Ultra-special' Lewis sweeps to maiden professional title

 

Tom Lewis always maintained it was his intention "to do a Rory", but in winning the Portugal Masters in stunning fashion yesterday, the young Englishman "eclipsed" anything Master McIlroy managed.

In just his third event as a pro, the 20-year-old won more than £375,000 and so earned his European Tour card for the next two seasons. In July, Lewis shot a 65 at the Open, the lowest score ever by an amateur in the British major. Three months on, and just a month after joining the paid ranks, the boy from Welwyn Garden City – the same town as a certain Sir Nick Faldo – provided emphatic proof those heroics were anything but a fluke.

Lewis, who also gains entry into the WGC event in Shanghai next month, conjured a brilliant, bogeyless final-round 65 to turn a four-shot deficit into a two-shot win over Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello. Showing composure and courage way beyond his years, and guided masterfully by the major-winning caddie Colin Byrne, Lewis birdied five of six holes from the 12th to leave the experienced Tour campaigners flailing in his wake at Vilamoura.

As he signed for a 21-under total, the onlookers were in no doubt of the quality of this maiden victory. "This is one the greatest performances in the history of the European Tour," said Mark Roe, the former Tour winner who is now coach to many of the game's top players. "I thought what Rory [McIlroy] did when coming third at the Dunhill in his second event as a pro to earn his card was special – but this is ultra-special. Tom has eclipsed Rory's achievement."

For his part, Lewis took it all in his stride. As a dyslexic who took little interest in school, he admitted to putting all his eggs in the golfing basket. He felt no need to have a safety net, and so soon his conviction has proven justified.

"I wouldn't have expected to win so quickly when I turned pro," said Lewis, who was part of last month's winning Walker Cup team. "To tell you the truth, I was dreading going to Tour school at the end of the year. I played really well this week. I told Colin [Byrne], my caddie, I just wanted to shoot in the sixties.

"I didn't expect to fire a 65. I actually left a number of shots out there this week."

Lewis, who was actually 21-under for his final 52 holes, will inevitably watch the riches roll in. The Independent understands that with his sponsorship bonuses this success will be worth more than £1m. Typical of this confident but level-headed young man, Lewis will not be spending his newly found wealth on flash cars.

"My Mum and Dad built up a debt in helping fund my amateur career so I will sort them out first," said this son of a driving-range professional.

And then? After yesterday the possibilities know no bounds. "I haven't thought what happens next," said Lewis. "Obviously, the schedule changes. It's a great feeling but I've still got a long way to go."

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam