Tom Lewis, a member of the victorious GB&I Walker Cup team and winner of the 2011 Open Championship Silver Medal, announced today that he has turned professional and signed with IMG, the world’s leading sports, fashion and media company, for worldwide management and marketing representation.
Lewis made a huge impact at The Open Championship this year at Royal St George’s. Having qualified via Local Final Qualifying at Rye, he opened with a five under par 65 to share the lead with Thomas Bjorn on the first day at Sandwich. It was the lowest round by an amateur in Open Championship history and he was the first amateur to lead the Open since Michael Bonallack in 1968. He finished the Open Championship in an impressive 30th place and the winner of the coveted Silver Medal as the leading amateur.
As part of the victorious GB&I Walker Cup team last weekend, Lewis has enjoyed a distinguished amateur career including wins at the 2009 Boys Amateur Championship and, more recently, at the 2011 St. Andrews Links Trophy.
The golfing fraternity is eagerly awaiting his professional debut which will take place at the Austrian Golf Open presented by Lyoness, followed by the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as Lewis attempts to emulate last year’s Silver Medal winner, Matteo Manassero, by securing his European Tour Card in just seven starts.
It is not only his golf that has attracted attention but also an engaging personality and image that has seen sponsors looking to back the young man from Welwyn Garden City as he heads to the professional ranks. Today, Lewis has deals with Ping, Titleist/FootJoy, Tullow Oil and Upper Deck which will help alleviate any financial pressures as he looks to make his mark in the coming months.
Lewis said, “I am very excited to get out there and see how I measure up. The Open Championship was fantastic for me and I learned a lot from the occasion. All the experiences gleaned from my amateur career, along with the help and support I have received from the R&A, EGU and my family and friends, will hopefully stand me in good stead as I try to earn my European Tour card for next year. IMG’s management credentials are second to none in the industry and I am very happy to be joining their team of players that includes many of the world’s best.”
He continued, “I am very grateful to the tournament promoters who have generously offered me invitations, particularly the Austrian Golf Open presented by Lyoness and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. I hope I will perform at my best to thank them for the opportunity. It definitely gives me a real boost to have such an array of top brands partnering me and it means I can focus on my golf for the next few months and attempt to reward their faith in me.”
Adrian Mitchell, whose clients include three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and former US Open champion Michael Campbell, will manage Tom Lewis and he is relishing the task, explaining, “Tom’s talent and potential are matched by his professional approach and character as everyone witnessed during the Open Championship. These ingredients have made him one of the most talked about prospects in golf and, together with his already impressive portfolio of sponsors; we are looking forward to a long and exciting partnership as we work to deliver on his great potential.”