Despite being just 20 years old, and still an amateur golfer, young Englishman Tom Lewis has already accumulated a shining selection of achievements for him to mull over when considering which one is his greatestto date.

Shooting 65, five-under par, to share the lead in the first round of the Open seems a strong contender. Lewis became the first amateur to lead the Open after the first round since Michael Bonallack in 1968, having posted the lowest score by an amateur in 140 Open Championships to date. That is what you call making history.

Other achievements worthy of serious consideration would include winning the 2009 British Boys Amateur Championship on this very course, Royal St
George’s, two years ago. Shooting 63-65 at Rye a couple of weeks ago to qualify for the Open in the first place must rate highly, and you couldn’t rule out his international caps for England.

However ­ having shot 74 on Friday to slip down to a share of 14th at the time of writing ­ Lewis has revealed that, in fact, none of the honours listed above rate as his most cherished. The highlight of Young Tom’s career to date was, he says, chatting to his father’s idol Tom Watson, as they played

their way around the course for two days together.

“Walking down the fairway with Tom giving his tips on how he’s won and the courses he’s enjoyed, is definitely the highlight of my career so far,” said Lewis. “It was a thrill and I hope he does well next week in the British Seniors.”

That is paying Watson some compliment: that his company is better than leading the Open.

Lewis’ father Bryan ­ himself a professional golfer ­ named his son after Watson, but it just goes to show that some people have the knack of appealing to all ages. It is a kind of charisma that Arnold Palmer also has,and the late Seve Ballesteros too, but not many beyond.

Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, patron of the Open Championship.