Tom Lewis became the Champion Amateur Boy Golfer of the Year after triumphing over Eddie Pepperall 5&4 in a high-quality final. The finalists – both England internationals – competed over the links of Royal St. George’s and on a day of beautiful sunshine, the golf matched the weather.
Having each beaten seven players just to get to the final, Pepperall and Lewis were clearly the best of the best from the amateur game. Either would have been a worthy winner but ultimately it was Lewis who came through on a day of sensational golf which delighted the spectators.
Lewis – already Amateur Stroke Play champion – now adds his name to a list which includes two-time Masters winner, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Sergio Garcia – and the teenager struggled to take this in: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s hard to explain. You don’t expect to be in the same boat as those players, but then you are”.
Asked about his aims for the future, Lewis showed himself to be ambitious: “To continue being alongside those names is a tough goal but if I keep doing what I’m doing, which seems to be working, then hopefully I can continue being up there with them.”
After winning the second hole with a birdie, Lewis controlled the match as he had all his matches throughout the week – he maintained at least a two hole cushion for all but one hole and failed to be overwhelmed by the large galleries following the match.
Lewis felt his consistency was key to his victory: “I was just a little bit more solid and probably kept it together a little better. He played better than the score made it look but I made the right decisions, didn’t short-side myself and made some putts when I needed to”, and Pepperall – from Drayton Park GC – agreed with this assesment: “I didn’t feel nervous out there. I felt really good; the same as I have done all week. But for whatever reason I wasn’t playing well enough today.
“I scrambled well this morning, hanging on to him, but I felt like I didn’t give him a game. I’m disappointed as it was unlike me.
“There are lots of positives, though, which I’ll probably be able to reflect on a bit better in a few days time. But, overall, I loved it. It was great to have so much support.”
Both England Internationals look to have bright careers ahead of them and will certainly do their country proud in the future.