TURNING pro is always an enormous step in a young golfer’s career but in Tom Lewis’ case the timing of his decision to do so makes perfect sense.
The 20-year-old (right) impressed everyone with the way he conducted himself at The Open, not least his playing partner Tom Watson, and he’s got all the attributes to have a wonderful career in the game.
He almost dismissed his achievement of winning the silver medal in the belief he could have pushed eventual winner Darren Clarke further and it’s that competitiveness and level of ambition that will stand him in good stead.
He’ll be focused on playing in the European Tour Qualifying School next year, which will provide him with an excellent grounding, but it’s not inconceivable, such is his talent and the opportunities that will come his way, that he’ll be playing with the big boys in 2012.
He’d see that as an enormous bonus, but having been granted an invite to the Alfred Dunhill Links next month there’s enough prize money on offer there for him to follow in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy, who finished third in 2007 and turned pro almost immediately afterwards.
Like Lewis, Justin Rose shot to prominence as a young amateur at The Open back in 1998 and it was great to see him return to winning ways in America.
With all the success British golf has enjoyed this year Rose was in danger of becoming something of a forgotten man. But a gripping victory at the BMW Championship has shot him back to prominence and back into the world’s top 20, which is where he belongs.
I’d go as far as to say it’s the biggest win of his career, not just because of the size of the tournament, but because of the way he had to dig deep to keep hold of his lead. Winning like that will do his confidence no end of good and I expect him to be competing for the big end of season prizes.
It’s been a good few weeks for me too on the Seniors Tour, and it’s now back-to-back top five finishes after my performance in Prague, where I played beautifully. I’m still not satisfied with my putting but hopefully I can carry my recent form into the event in Cannes this week.