England’s Tom Lewis, who shared the lead in The Open as an amateur and then won on his third professional start, has been named the European Tour’s rookie of the year.
The 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden City follows in the footsteps of his home club’s most famous figure, Sir Nick Faldo, by lifting the Sir Henry Cotton trophy.
“I appreciate this honour very much. It certainly tops off what has been an amazing year,” Lewis said.
“I think my dad is more excited about me winning this award than my first tour victory in October!
“I am very proud to be named The Sir Henry Cotton rookie of the year and I feel very fortunate as there were some strong contenders for this title who played consistently well all season.”
Lewis shot to prominence with his opening 65 at Royal St George’s, the lowest round by an amateur in Open Championship history giving him a share of the lead.
And three months later he produced the same score in the final round of the Portugal Masters to win on his third professional outing, the quickest victory by an affiliate member in Tour history.
In between those historic rounds, Lewis also played his part in Great Britain & Ireland’s Walker Cup victory over the United States at Royal Aberdeen.
Lewis paid tribute to his father and coach Brian, a former Tour professional, adding: “I might not even have been a golfer if it wasn’t for dad, but he has definitely made me into the golfer I’ve become.
“He is really the person who made this possible.”
Lewis was chosen by a panel comprising The R&A, The European Tour and the Association of Golf Writers ahead of several strong candidates including Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Scott Jamieson of Scotland, who both finished ahead of Lewis in The Race to Dubai.