In only his third outing as a professional, England’s Tom Lewis claimed a remarkable victory in the Portugal Masters over the Oceanico Victoria course in Vilamoura. The 20-year-old won by two from Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain.
Just a month after he was part of the victorious GB&I Walker Cup team at Royal Aberdeen, Lewis has now secured his playing rights for two years on the European Tour, will make an appearance at next month’s WGC HSBC Champions and has leapt to third place on the Ryder Cup points table.
“I would not have expected this at all,” he added. “I was really dreading going to the Qualifying School at the end of the year, but it looks like I’ve skipped that,” he said. “I’ve not thought about the money – I was thinking about winning.”
It’s an incredible start to a career, particularly when you consider it took Tiger Woods five tournaments to secure his first pro title and Rory McIlroy needed 38 starts before he gained his maiden victory.
Lewis began the final day at Vilamoura four shots back from Cabrera-Bello of Spain. The youngster started strongly though with birdies at the 1st and 5th holes, then he really caught fire on the back nine.
He made five birdies in six holes from the 12th to take the tournament by the scruff of the neck. Cabrera-Bello ended as Lewis’ closest challengers but he struggled to make an impact on Sunday. In fact, he did well to recover from a double bogey at the par-5 12th as he posted three straight birdies from the 15th.
David Lynn and Gregory Havret surged up the final day leaderboard, both closing with 64s to end the week in a tie for third with George Coetzee, who also finished strongly with a 65, and Felipe Aguilar of Chile and Sweden’s Christian Nilsson.
Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal
Oct 13-16, purse €2,500,000, par 72
1 Tom Lewis (Eng) 70 64 68 65 267 €416,660
2 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 69 65 64 71 269 €277,770
T3 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 66 66 67 71 270 €110,000
T3 George Coetzee (RSA) 70 69 66 65 270 €110,000
T3 Gregory Havret (Fra) 66 69 71 64 270 €110,000
T3 David Lynn (Eng) 70 68 68 64 270 €110,000
T3 Christian Nilsson (Swe) 69 64 66 71 270 €110,000
T8 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 65 69 66 71 271 €56,167
T8 Jamie Donaldson (Wal) 69 68 67 67 271 €56,167
T8 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 67 68 70 66 271 €56,167
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only