TOM LEWIS FLYING HIGH EN ROUTE TO ISKANDAR JOHOR OPEN 2011
Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Rookie Tom Lewis may not be a household name among golf fans on this side of the world yet, but his remarkable win at the recent Portugal Masters makes him an exciting player to watch at the Iskandar Johor Open 2011.
Lewis, 20, chalked up his maiden professional win at the Portugal Masters in only his third professional appearance, equaling the record for fastest professional title win at three and bettering Tiger Woods' who won in his fifth and Rory Mcllroy who captured his first title at the 38th time of asking.
“I didn't expect my first win to come this soon at all,” said Lewis who birdied five of his last seven holes to take the title by two strokes. “It's very much a relief not to have to go to the Tour School at the end of the year.”
With the win, the Englishman secured his European Tour card for the next two years, leapt 455 places on the Official World Golf Rankings to 166th and also jumped to third place on The Ryder Cup points table, as well as entering the all-important top 60 of The Race to Dubai.
“I've not thought about the money - I was thinking about winning,” Lewis said of his incredible week where he had 22 birdies and only one bogey in the last 52 holes. “I've got a long way to go. I'm nowhere near the player I want to be, so I'll put this win behind me at the end of the year and start fresh next year.”
Lewis burst onto the world stage at The Open Championship last July when he shot an opening round 65 to take the lead, becoming the first amateur in more than 40 years to accomplish such a feat. He eventually finished in a tie for 30th and was awarded the Silver Medal for low amateur.
Lewis then played a part in the victorious Great Britain &Ireland Walker Cup side before joining the professional ranks, producing a top-ten finish in his first event at the Austrian Golf Open and making the cut at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
On the back of such meteoric rise, Lewis may even be worth a few punts to clinch the US$2 million championship when he tees it up at Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club this November 17 to 20, where he will be lining up against some of the more established golfing stars.
“It will be exciting to compete against such a strong field at the Iskandar Johor Open. This will be the first time for me in Malaysia and I’m looking forward to competing there, experiencing the culture, meeting new people and building on a successful season,” said Lewis.
The fifth edition of the Iskandar Johor Open this year boasts a stellar field - with multiple major winner, Padraig Harrington, defending his title against big names including eight-time Europe’s Number One, Colin Montgomerie.
Other big names include - Camilo Villegas, Anthony Kim, Henrik Stenson and Thongchai Jaidee. The Iskandar Johor Open 2011 will boast a field of 156 players consisting of 67 players each from the Asian and European Tours, eight invites, eight national qualifiers and six international qualifiers, all vying for the top purse of US$317,000 (approximately RM954, 000).
Photo - Asian Tour
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