British Open standout Lewis turns pro and will make debut in Austrian Open

tom lewis
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Tom Lewis burst to international prominence with his showing at the 2011 British Open.
PA Sport and Associated Press

Series: European Tour

Published: Friday, September 16, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.

Tom Lewis, the youngster who rose to prominence by taking a share of the first-round lead at this year’s British Open, has turned professional.

A week after helping Britain & Ireland to victory over the United States at the Walker Cup, Lewis has brought an end to his impressive amateur career.

In a statement released by the IMG agency, which has signed Lewis as a client, the 20-year-old Englishman says Friday he’s excited to get out there and see how he measures up.

Lewis will play his first event as a professional at next week’s Austrian Open, followed by the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

Named after Tom Watson, Lewis played alongside the American great in the first round at the British Open in July and shot a 5-under 65 to share the first-round lead with Thomas Bjorn. It was the lowest round by an amateur in Open history, and he was the first amateur to lead the Open since Michael Bonallack in 1968.

Lewis, 20, from Welwyn Garden City, went on to finish in in 30th place, and won the silver medal as leading amateur.

"I am very excited to get out there and see how I measure up,” Lewis said. "The Open Championship was fantastic for me and I learnt a lot from the occasion.

"I am very grateful to the tournament promoters who have generously offered me invitations,” he added. "I hope I will perform at my best to thank them for the opportunity."