Tom Lewis Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images
Future Star

English rookie claims Masters title in Portugal

A final round of 65 saw Tom Lewis surge to the top of the leaderboard and the chasing pack were simply unable to catch the 20-year-old rookie.

HAVE WE A NEW golfing star in our midst?

England’s Tom Lewis has claimed a sensational victory at the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura, an event that was only his third ever professional appearance on Tour.

The former amateur star, who briefly led The Open Championship at Sandwich earlier this summer, battled his way into the lead with a wonderful seven-under-par round of 65 to finish with a final score of -21.

The 20-year-old holed a 20-foot putt on the 16th during a run of four consecutive birdies on the back nine and it was that scoring streak in particular that moved him clear of the rest of the field at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.

Second and two strokes behind Lewis was overnight leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello. The Spaniard’s challenge faltered on the 12th when he found water and carded a double bogey and though he then closed to within two shots by the 17th, he was unable to force a play-off for the title.

“I wouldn’t have expected that at all,” Lewis said afterwards. “I was dreading Qualifying School at the end of the year but it looks like I’ve skipped that. I’m just really pleased with my performance.”

Five golfers shared third including Gregory Havret and David Lynn – both of whom carded 64s on the final day – as well as South Africa George Coetzee, Felipe Aguilar, who led for a time on the day, and Swede Christian Nilsson. Martin Kaymer, Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Thomas Bjorn tied for eighth on -17.

Best of the Irish was Peter Lawrie, who carded a 66 for a share of 11th (on 16-under) along with Pablo Larrazabal, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, James Kingston and Peter Hanson.

Five birdies and a solitary bogey saw Padraig Harrington (68) finish on -15 along with six other golfers including compatriot Shane Lowry (69), while Gareth Maybin tied for 50th after a 71 left him on nine-under. Damien McGrane ended the tournament on -5 with Gary Murphy seven-over, after a disastrous day on the course on Saturday.

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