Portugal Masters: Tom Lewis inspired by Justin Rose's comeback from adversity
Tom Lewis says Justin Rose's climb to the top echelons of the game has helped him battle through his own self-doubt.
Last Updated: 11/10/13 11:06am
Lewis burst onto the scene with an opening 65 at Royal St George's in 2011, the lowest score by an amateur in Open Championship history, giving him a share of the lead.
He went on to finish 30th and win the silver medal as leading amateur before turning professional and winning the Portugal Masters in just his third event.
However, he finished a lowly 117th on the Race to Dubai in 2012 and was 155th a fortnight ago going into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, one of three events left to get into the top 110 to retain his card for 2014.
A share of third place at St Andrews took care of those worries in style - missing out on the play-off by one shot after a closing 64 - and the 22-year-old Englishman can now focus on trying to win at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course for a second time.
"I'm pleased about where I'm standing at the moment," said Lewis, who now lies 90th on the money list.
"I feel like I always expect more from myself and it was a shame I wasn't able to get into a play-off in Scotland, but I can take the positives from it.
"I've kept my card and can go forward next year and try and chase a lot of points and try and play well early and see what happens. I am definitely in a different mindset now than I was a couple of years ago.
"I was worried about it for such a long time, I was getting down and saying 'I'm not sure if I'm going to be good enough'. Every player will maybe not admit they go through these things but I am always going to be honest with that sort of stuff and say it was always going to be tough for me.
"Even at the beginning of last year I was like, I am going to struggle here if I don't get my act together. I've worked hard and tried to find the areas I need to improve and feel I am in a good place now where I need to work and really go forward.
Cream rises to the top
"You look at Justin Rose and his struggle has helped him long term [Rose missed his first 21 cuts in a row as a professional] and I think cream always rises to the top."
From worrying about avoiding a trip to the qualifying school, Lewis can now think about qualifying for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The top 60 on the money list after the Turkish Open on November 10 will compete in the £5million event and Lewis added on European Tour Radio: "It's a bit of a different mindset but I have to carry on focusing the way I have the last couple of months because I have been playing well.
"I am going to put extra pressure on myself to try and do well this week which maybe isn't going to help me, but if I can manage that and putt that into the back of my mind and carry on focusing on trying to make as many birdies as I can, we'll see what happens on Sunday."
Ireland's Shane Lowry, who finished alongside Lewis at St Andrews after two costly bogeys on the back nine of his final round, returns to defend his title and is relishing the experience.
"People say there is a lot of pressure being the defending champion but you have to look at the positives and say 'I won around this course a year ago so there is no reason why I can't give myself the chance to do it again,"' Lowry said.
"That's the frame of mind I'm going with this week."