Walker Cup stars Paul Cutler and Tom Lewis will make their professional debuts at next week’s Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness.
Lewis shot into the golfing spotlight with his unforgettable performance at this year’s Open Championship, where he won the Silver Medal as leading amateur and finished in 30th place overall.
Lewis’s opening score of 65 at Royal St George’s was the lowest round by an amateur in Open Championship history and saw him lead the first round alongside Denmark’s Thomas Björn.
As well as joining Cutler as part of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team last weekend, Lewis also enjoyed landmark amateur successes in the 2009 Boys Amateur Championship and the 2011 St Andrews Links Trophy.
Lewis, who has signed with the International Management Group (IMG), is relishing the prospect of making his professional debut at the Diamond Country Club in next week’s Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness before heading to Scotland and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as he attempts to emulate recent Silver Medal winners, Matteo Manassero and Rory McIlroy, in securing his European Tour Card in just seven starts.
“I am very excited to get out there and see how I measure up,” said Lewis. “The Open was fantastic for me and I learnt 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.
“I am very grateful to the tournament promoters who have generously offered me invitations, particularly the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. I hope I will perform at my best to thank them for the opportunity.”
Having also secured invitations to play in Austria and the following week in Scotland, Cutler will find himself in exactly the same position as Lewis as he looks to bypass The European Tour Qualifying School and secure his playing privileges before the end of the year with a maximum of seven invites.
The 22 year old Northern Irishman was singled out by Walker Cup Captain Nigel Edwards as Great Britain and Ireland’s star man after going undefeated in the 14-12 victory over the USA at Royal Aberdeen last week.
Cutler – the 2010 Lytham Trophy winner – has chosen to be represented by Ireland’s Horizon Sports Management and will arrive in Austria with one of golf’s most respected caddies, Phil ‘Wobbly’ Morbey (who won two Maters titles with Ian Woosnam and José Maria Olazábal) on his bag.
Cutler said: "Working with 'Wobbly' will be huge for me. Having such a massively experienced caddie on the bag is really exciting.
“It's also great to get these opportunities to play straight away on Tour – I couldn't ask for a better start. I really have a great team behind me at Horizon and they’ve already made me feel comfortable about going out on Tour."