Tom Lewis wins Portugal Masters for his first European Tour victory
PUBLISHED: 22:45 16 October 2011 | UPDATED: 07:48 18 October 2011
WELWYN Garden City golfer Tom Lewis has won the Portugal Masters at Vilamoura – in only his third tournament since turning professional.
Golfer Tom Lewis
Recent tournament results
* The 140th Open Championship: 30th (amateur)
* Austrian Golf Open: 10th
* Alfred Dunhill Links Championship: 70th
* Portugal Masters: 1st
The 20-year-old Englishman produced a stunning birdie blitz over the back nine to claim his maiden European Tour triumph.
Rookie Tom carded a magnificent final round 65 – including five birdies over the last seven holes – to top the leaderboard from a world-class field containing the likes of Padraig Harrington and Martin Kaymer.
Incredibly, the golfer from the same Hertfordshire club that produced six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo was only in seventh place with seven holes to go before his late surge.
He finished two shots clear of Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello on 267 after his seven under par fourth round at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course.
Tom – ranked 621st in the official World Golf Rankings at the start of the week – had earlier returned 70, 64, 68 in the opening three rounds.
The former Monk’s Walk School pupil finished the tournament 21 under par and carded an incredible 22 birdies, with only one bogey, over the last 52 holes.
His fairytale victory in only his third pro outing secures him a place on the European Tour for the next two seasons – and a string of top invites – plus a cheque for 416,660 Euros.
To put Tom’s meteoric rise to golfing stardom into perspective, Tiger Woods took five tournaments to bag his first professional title, while Rory McIlroy didn’t win until his 38th European Tour event.
And his success in Portugal means he avoids a dreaded trip to the European Tour Qualifying School in December – his victory earning a two year exemption.
Tom’s triumph also books him a place in the World Golf Championships in China next month, and lifts him to third in the Ryder Cup points table.
The rising WGC golf star first shot to worldwide fame earlier this year with an opening 65 at The Open Championship to share the first round lead at Sandwich.
Tom was then a member of the victorious Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team before joining the professional ranks.
He finished tied tenth in his first pro event, the Austrian Open.
Now he’s a European Tour champion after just three tournaments as a professional.
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