England’s Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters in just his third start as a professional and only his fifth event on the European Tour. That’s quick. But how do some of Ireland’s professional stack up by comparison?
The 20-year Englishman, who left school at 16 to chase his dream, closed with a 65 to win by two strokes from Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello on 21 under par.
That was five shots better than Peter Lawrie (66), who finished as the best of the Irish in tied 11th to move up to 55th in the Race to Dubai. The top 60 make the Dubai World Championship in December but Padraig Harrington (68) and Shane Lowry (69) remain outside that mark after sharing 16th on the Algarve on 15 under.
While Lewis claimed a stunning victory in just his fifth appearance on tour, Lowry won the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur in his maiden appearance alongside the pros.
Check out this list of some of Ireland’s European Tour winners and the time it took them to get that first win.
European Tour or Challenge Tour events needed for first European Tour victory*
1 Shane Lowry (2009 Irish Open)
6 Graeme McDowell (2002 Volvo Scandinavian Masters)
8 Padraig Harrington (1996 Spanish Open)
38 Rory McIlroy (2009 Dubai Desert Classic)
40 Des Smyth (1979 Sun Alliance Match Play Championship)
70 Eamonn Darcy (1977 Great Manchester Open)
78 Darren Clarke (1993 Alfred Dunhill Open)
127 Paul McGinley (1996 Hohe Brucke Open)
154 Michael Hoey (2009 Estoril Opende Portugal)
155 Philip Walton (1990 Peugeot Open de France)
166 Damien McGrane (2008 Volvo China Open)
168 Ronan Rafferty (1989 Lancia Italian Open)
239 Peter Lawrie (2008 Spanish Open)
*No statistics to hand tonight for Christy O’Connor Snr, Fred Daly, Eddie Polland, David Feherty and others.