Tom Lewis secures second Portugal Masters title after dramatic final round
Englishman ends seven-year wait for European Tour title with victory in Vilamoura
Last Updated: 23/09/18 6:39pm
Tom Lewis underlined his return to form as he won the Portugal Masters for the second time with a three-shot victory after an enthralling final round.
The Englishman, whose only previous European Tour win also came at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in 2011, carded a final round five-under 66 to hold off overnight leader Lucas Herbert, who was bidding for his first professional title, and Eddie Pepperell.
Lewis, who won on the Challenge Tour earlier this month, surged into contention with a 10-under 61 on Saturday and made six birdies in comparison with three from Herbert, while Pepperell fired his fourth sub-70 round of the tournament.
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Lewis' win saw him produce the biggest 54-hole comeback of the season, having fired an opening one-over par 71 to sit nine shots off first round leader Lucas Herbert.
Herbert, whose finish was good enough to secure his playing privileges on the European Tour next year, saw his lead evaporate over the opening two holes as the Australian bogeyed the second while playing partner Lewis picked up his first gain.
Lewis and Herbert both made birdies at the third and fifth, while a further shot picked up at the par-three eighth enabled the 27-year-old Englishman to turn in 31 and open up a one-shot advantage.
A bogey at the 10th - Lewis' first dropped shot since the closing hole of the opening round - saw him surrender his narrow lead but he responded quickly with a gain at the 11th before the leading pair shared birdies at the 13th.
Pepperell, chasing a second win on tour this season, mixed three birdies with a dropped shot at the seventh before a third birdie on the back nine at the 15th saw him move into contention as Lewis and Herbert struggled down the stretch.
After Herbert scrambled well to save par at the par-three 16th to remain just one back, Lewis showed his first sign of fragility under pressure as he found water off the tee at the par-five 17th but a remarkable 30-foot par putt saw him retain his lead.
Herbert, bidding for a closing birdie, hit a wayward drive to find water and moments after Pepperell, in the group ahead, saw his chances end with a bogey at the last it was Lewis who showed resilience to celebrate success and ensure a two-year exemption on the European Tour.
Soomin Lee and Marcus Kinhult finished in a share for fourth spot while Ireland's Shane Lowry was a shot further back at 16-under par while there was encouragement for European Ryder Cup players Sergio Garcia and Thorbjorn Olesen.
Garcia opened his final round with an eagle as the Spaniard carded a blemish-free six-under 65 to end his week in a tie for seventh while Olesen finished three shots further back after a four-under 67.