20-year-old Tom Lewis turned pro after last month’s Walker Cup and captured his maiden victory at the Portugal Masters. Lewis only needed three tournaments before reaching the winner’s circle. Tiger Woods needed five events and Rory McIlroy didn’t find success until his 38th start on the European Tour.
Three months ago, Lewis made headlines at the Open Championship when he opened with a 65 at Royal St. George’s, the lowest-ever round by an amateur at the Open. The record was previously held by Woods. Lewis would go on to tie for 30th and win the Silver Medal for low am.
With the win, Lewis won a £375,166 check, but he wasn’t concerned about the money. Instead, he gets to skip Q-school because his victory earned him a two-year exemption, as well. Via the Press Association:
Instead of facing a trip to the Tour school in December – he entered the week 234th on the Tour money list and 621st in the world – he is exempt for two seasons and a rich young man already.
“I would not have expected this at all. I was really dreading going to the qualifying school at the end of the year, but it looks like I have skipped that.” Instead Lewis will be making a World Championship debut in China next month and leaps to third place on the Ryder Cup points table.
Shocked to have won so early in his career, he has his feet on the ground, however, and stated: “I’m a long way behind Rory and have a long way to go. To have two years on the European Tour, I would not have dreamt that at the beginning of the week, so I’m really pleased.”
Lewis added, “I can’t really put it in words at the moment, but if you ask me in a couple of days or a couple of weeks I’ll be able to answer in better form.”
Sheesh, kids these days.