What you didn’t see…

An English Amateur is in a tie for the lead at the Open Championship at Royal St George’s. Tom Lewis completed a fabulous first round late on Thursday to share the overnight lead with slightly more experienced Tomas Bjorn from Denmark. It is easy to say that Tom’s performance today is another sign of the great success of English young players recently. Of course it is, and at the same time it is a reminder of the kind of stubbornness and determination that it takes to reach these kind of heights. I think it is fair to say that Tom has not been everybody’s favourite in the amateur game this year. He declined to represent England against Spain in early May. He opted out of the English Amateur Strokeplay for the Brabazon Trophy and with the Open qualifier around the corner he chose not to be a part of the English Team in the European Championships. Would he have been in the position he is in tonight if he had not made all those difficult decisions? I think everybody with any knowledge of performance golf would say a unanimous – no way! The amateur schedule is just to exhaustive and had Tom chosen to be in that European Team he would have come back from Portugal, completely worn out, on Sunday night. To then get back on the road for the Open on Monday morning would not have been the best preparation.

At the end of a day like this though it is easy to argue that everyone has won. Tom’s performance is great, obviously for himself but also for the English Golf Union and everyone who is involved in supporting young players to climb the player pathway. Perhaps one of the biggest problems is that there are not many players around with the kind of integrity that Tom has shown. And those that are will not be very popular. Not until they have done what Tom has done that is. Ironic in many ways, isn’t it?

Finally, you just have to love the Open Championship. I cannot think of one other sporting event in the world of this magnitude where you would drive in on something that normally would not qualify as a bicycle track. Those that carry a green car park pass and come in through Deal know what I am talking about. Magic!

3 Responses to “What you didn’t see…”

  1. 1 martin izzard July 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Nice job, we are hopefully on course for one of our English Stars to win on sunday . If the Senior’s Selector is running a BBQ in his back yard to celebrate, I will come down!

  2. 2 Graham Yates July 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

    If Tom were to achieve nothing else this year other than being joint leader on day one of the Open- fabulous. Ironic though isn’t it that we are quick to criticise the Pros for any less than magic performances on their weekly travels across the continents. Perhaps the lure of huge pots of cash incentivise them to put aside personal considerations, and their responsibilities to their sponsors give them that constant reminder of where they are coming from.

  3. 3 Jack Hayward July 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Great post. Really interesting to get some more background on Tom Lewis. He looks a real talent and I hope he can stay in the red figures throughout as he has thus far shown great maturity and calmness when up against a real challenge. I have been blogging on the championship and it is incredibly useful to hear from someone more in the know on Tom!

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