Golfer Tom Lewis discusses life on the European Tour
PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 May 2013
SITTING in the warmth, looking out over the fairway of Welwyn Garden City Golf Club on a rare sunny day, you can understand why professional golfer Tom Lewis has one eye on eventually playing in the warmer climate of America.
The former Monk’s Walk pupil has already racked up the air miles this year travelling to Qatar, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Spain as he continues life on the European Tour.
The 22-year-old had a whirlwind 2011 in which he led The Open Championship as an amateur, won the Walker Cup with GB&I, turned professional and triumphed at the Portugal Masters in only his third pro event.
His first full year on the European Tour proved a tough test in 2012.
“It was interesting, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I wanted to enjoy it,” he exclusively told the WHT.
“I should have tried to enjoy it more, I just put too much pressure on myself to do well as I expected to do better.
“I’m not really interested in what I did in the past, that’s gone, nobody really cares and I don’t.
“There were certain things I needed to change in my golf, my golf swing and things like that. That’s not using them as an excuse, I definitely could have done better.
“I could have stuck to what I was doing before, but that wouldn’t get me to where I want to get to.”
When asked just where he did want to get to in his sport, he said: “Well the best I can possibly be and I think I can be the best because I have the work ethic, talent, every area I need to be good in and they’re all really poor, but they can all get better.
“If I was sitting here and I was ripping it, chipping great, putting great and I was still missing cuts and not competing that would be the end of my career.
“The problem is none of it has been good for the last year-and-a- half and I’ve still been able to have a few good events here and there, but nothing to the standard I can get to.
“Once I’ve got the confidence to go forward and compete again and put myself in the mix. I’ll only go forward from there.”
Lewis’ next trip is to the Madeira Islands Open, which begins on May 16, before he returns to England for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth a week later.
“I can use it [Madeira] as a practise week to get into the PGA, to try and get into shooting some low scores and get into four rounds.”
He has been giving extra time to his putting.
“My whole game’s pretty good I just need to put the hours in on the putting green, that’s where I’m going to win tournaments.
“A lot of last year and the year before I focused so much on my chipping and pitching that I neglected my putting, there’s not enough hours in the day to do everything.
“I’m pleased that I got my chipping back a little bit, and that I’ve got the confidence to use my new swing as well for the rest of this year and so long as I can hold some of the putts I’ll be fine.”
In the long term Lewis feels he has to try his luck the other side of the pond, if he gets the opportunity.
“To be better I have to be in America, but to get to America I have to be in Europe. It’s kind of a lose lose situation, but everyone has to go through it.
“I’d love to be in the stage where I can decide to play in Europe and America.
“But I’m going to have to go through the stages and at the moment it’s ‘lets play in Europe and try to compete, get some confidence over here, try and get into the top 50, play in a few of the Majors and then when you’re ready you’ll be able to go over to America’ and then I think that’s when my game, my performances, my wins will come more from America because that tour suits me.
“I love home, but America’s a really good place for me and my golf and I enjoy it over there.
“For experience it’s good to travel around the rest of the world on the European Tour because we are in Asia, South Africa and Europe, but in America you just play on American soil.
“It’s much easier in terms of travel, the conditions and the weather is better.
“If you’ve ever been there to do what I do you realise that’s where you have to be to be the best.
“Lee Westwood has just decided now that he has to be over there if he wants to win a Major and he’s moved his whole life over there, but he probably could have done that 10 years ago and he would probably have a couple Majors under his belt and he’ll know that.
“But it’s quite nice that he’s tried to live it out at home because he’s English and that’s what he wanted to do.”
It appears Lewis will keep his roots at home, but in order for his career to blossom he will eventually follow fellow countrymen like Westwood and Ian Poulter to the Statesside warmth.
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