Silver Medal duo back in winner's circle
Winning the Silver Medal is the most prestigious achievement in amateur golf and two recent champions have shown they can also mix it on the world stage yet again.
Matthew Fitzpatrick narrowly missed out on Ryder Cup selection but he did not let that dampen his week at the Omega European Masters as he defended his title impressively.
While over on the Challenge Tour, Tom Lewis reigned supreme at the Bridgestone Challenge, ending a seven-year wait for a trophy.
Lewis finds his mojo on Challenge Tour
Tom Lewis enjoy a special year in 2011. Not only did he win the Silver Medal at The 140th Open Championship but he also claimed a maiden European Tour victory at the Portugal Masters.
However, the Englishman had not picked up a victory since before strolling into the Bridgestone Challenge this week.
Lewis is used to making history. He shot the lowest single-round score by an amateur in Open history when he hit a 65 on day one at Royal St George’s in 2011.
2011 #PortugalMasters champion 🏆— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) September 10, 2018
2018 #BridgestoneChallenge champion 🏆
👊 Tom Lewis returned to the winners' circle in some style. 23 under par is the lowest winning total on the Challenge Tour this year. pic.twitter.com/1iHHdIZ7rm
And he made more on Sunday as he became the Bridgestone Challenge’s first English winner.
The years between the two have been tough. Lewis, who once seemed destined for the top, lost his tour card in 2015 and has competed in just three majors since that week in Kent – including The 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie in July, when he finished in a tie for 47th.
So it is understandable when he says that this win is undoubtedly the sweetest of his career.
“I’ve probably had more fun this week then I did seven years ago. I appreciate the win a lot more now,” he said.
“I’ve struggled over the years and when you struggle or lose something, you appreciate things more.
“That is something that I took advantage of when I was younger, so if I can continue to play like this and get a few more wins, then I can really appreciate what I’m doing.”
Lewis shot a final round 64 to finish five shots clear of Dimitrios Papadatos and Sebastian Soderberg on 23-under-par and leaps from 56th to 18th on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah.
“This win gives me a lot of confidence. I didn’t panic today and I think that’s the big thing I can take from this week.”
Fabulous Fitzpatrick emulates Seve
Seve Ballesteros’ career is not a bad one to emulate and Matthew Fitzpatrick will always be able to say he has achieved exactly what the great Spaniard has at the European Masters.
Ballesteros, a three-time Champion Golfer of the Year, won the competition back-to-back in 1977 and 1978 and Fitzpatrick has done the same 40 years on.
The Englishman made his name at The 142nd Open at Muirfield when he won the Silver Medal by five shots and since then, he has claimed five European Tour titles and played in 14 further majors.
On Sunday, Lewis won the Bridgestone Challenge with ease but Fitzpatrick was made to work for his trophy – needing a playoff to see off Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard.
“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win,” he said. “To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place.#
“That was tough, that was really tough. Of all my wins, I’d say that was definitely the most difficult. I didn’t have my A game but I managed to grind it out. I made some crucial birdies coming in and I’m delighted. This is one of my best.”