Lewis becomes champion

TOM LEWIS is the Champion Amateur Boy Golfer of the year after a stunning victory over an international field in the Boys Amateur Championship over the testing Open Championship links course of Royal St. George s at Sandwich in Kent. After winning through

TOM LEWIS is the Champion Amateur Boy Golfer of the year after a stunning victory over an international field in the Boys Amateur Championship over the testing Open Championship links course of Royal St. George's at Sandwich in Kent.

After winning through five matchplay rounds, the quarter-final and semi-final, he beat fellow England international Eddie Pepperell, of Drayton Park, in the final over 36 holes by a 5&4 margin to become the proud holder of a British national title.

It was his second success in three weeks after winning the English Boys Stroke Play for the Carris Trophy at Moor Park.

Now 81st winner of the Boys Amateur Championship, his name is added to the list of previous holders, among them now professional tournament stars from Spain Jose Maria Olazabal, twice US Masters winner, and Sergio Garcia.


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Reminded of this, Lewis said: "It hasn't sunk in yet - it's hard to explain. You don't expect to be in the same boat as those players, but then you are. To continue being alongside those names is a tough goal, but if I keep doing what I'm doing, which seems to be working, then hopefully I can continue being up there with them."

His achievements will add to the rolls of honour of the Welwyn Garden City Golf Club, of which he is a member, along with those of another former boy star who became a major champion, Sir Nick Faldo.

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To get to the final Lewis opened with a one-hole win against a Danish opponent, then won by 6&5, then 4&3; at the fourth an American took him to the 20th, after which he won by 3&2 and then by two holes. He won his quarter final 2&1, and reached the final with a two holes win against a German.

Against Pepperell Lewis birdied the second hole to take the lead which he never lost.

He was in control most of the way with at least a two-hole margin, Pepperell only getting it down to one hole margin at the fourth and 17th in the morning.

"I had only been down once during the week - once I'd been up I didn't lose it, so it was good to win the second hole and be up for the rest of the holes I played," Lewis said. "I was just a little bit more solid and probably kept it together a little better - he played better than the score made it look, but I made the right decisions."

Pepperell said "I felt I didn't give him a game. I'm disappointed, as it was unlike me." Lewis added "He put a lot of pressure on me because he has such a good short game."

After his birdie at the second hole Lewis went two up at the third as Pepperell missed from 3ft but it was down to one at the fourth as Pepperell birdied from 10ft. only for Lewis to be back to two up with a birdie the next and go three up as Pepperell missed from 15ft for par at the sixth.

It was back to two up as Pepperell birdied the eighth, with both getting birdies at the ninth and the margin kept switching and it was down to one hole at the 17th when Pepperell came out of a bunker to 18 inches, but par by Lewis at the 18th to go two ahead sent him happily to lunch.

With a strengthening wind in the afternoon Lewis's shot from 50 yards to 10 inches put him three up at the 20th and four up at the next as Pepperell was in trouble and conceded.

HARRIET KEY (South Herts) qualified for the match play stages of the English Mid Amateir Championship at Denham, but lost by 3&2 in the first round.

Holder Lucy Williams (Mid Herts) was unable to defend her title due to injury.

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