LONDON - Briton Tom Lewis has been named the European Tour’s rookie of the year after the 20-year-old won on his third professional start at the Portugal Masters in October to secure a two-year tour exemption.
“I appreciate this honour very much. It certainly tops off what has been an amazing year,” Lewis said in a statement on Monday.
Lewis shot a scintillating seven-under-par final-round 65 in Portugal to win by two shots from Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello, having burst onto the scene in July at the British Open where he became the first amateur to lead the Open since 1968.
The Englishman hit a first-round 65 at Sandwich on his way to finishing as the leading amateur, then helped Britain and Ireland beat the United States in September’s Walker Cup before turning pro and recording a top-10 finish in his first start at the Austrian Open.
Lewis paid tribute to his father and coach, Brian, a former Tour professional, who has been an influential presence during his son’s rise through the amateur game into the professional ranks.
“I might not even have been a golfer if it wasn’t for dad, but he has definitely made me into the golfer I’ve become. He is really the person who made this possible.”
When Lewis beat a high quality field to the title in Portugal he also eclipsed former world number one and 14-times major champion Tiger Woods, who needed five tournaments to land his first professional title.