Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Solid start for amateur Lewis

Tom Lewis

Amateur Tom Lewis today made a solid start to his second round of the 140th Open Championship as he looked to build on his record-breaking exploits at Royal St George's.

Lewis carded a five-under-par 65 in the opening round on Thursday, the lowest in Open history by an amateur and enough for a share of the lead with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

The 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden City claimed, somewhat unconvincingly, that he would still be happy to simply make the halfway cut, but had the chance to do far better this morning in benign conditions on the Kent coast.

Starting at 9:31am, again in the company of five-time Open champion Tom Watson - the man he is named after - Lewis was left with a six-foot par putt on the first hole after his approach ran just through the green, but proved up to the early test of his nerves to remain five under.

Further pars followed on the second and third, although Lewis was disappointed to dribble a short birdie putt on the third off target, and the former British Boys champion found himself joined at the top of the leaderboard by American Lucas Glover.

Glover's round of 66 went largely unnoticed yesterday as Bjorn - who blew a three-shot lead with four to play the last time the Open was staged at Royal St George's - and Lewis grabbed the headlines.

But the 2009 US Open champion soon made it a three-way tie at the top with a birdie on the second and recovered from a dropped shot on the fourth with a birdie on the seventh.

However, the 31-year-old will have been disappointed to make "just" a birdie, missing from five feet for an eagle on a hole where most players could not even reach the fairway in the strong winds which prevailed earlier in the week.

In the group ahead, Northern Ireland's Clarke had showed Glover how it should be done, holing from around 60ft from just off the green for eagle and then 10ft at the next for birdie to move to four under par.

Clarke, second at Troon in 1997 and third at Lytham in 2001, had earlier run up a double-bogey six on the fourth, but the 42-year-old was clearly benefiting from a recent session with renowned sports psychologist Dr Bob Rotella.

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