The Open 2011: Tom Lewis wins Silver Medal at Sandwich

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Royal St George's

Tom Lewis has won the Silver Medal for the Open Championship's best amateur player after finishing three shots clear of American rival Peter Uihlein.

The 20-year-old from Hertfordshire had been blown off course by the wind and rain on Saturday when he slumped to a third round 76 to stand five over.

But Lewis showed spirit to recover well on Sunday with a 74, blighted only by a triple-bogey eight at the long 14th.

He said: "It has been an amazing Open. I couldn't have asked for more."

Lewis added: "The first day was wonderful. It's just a shame [that during] the last three days I haven't played anywhere near as well as I'd hoped."

He admitted that his tough weekend experience had helped make up his mind about not yet turning professional. As a result, he will be eligible to play in September's Walker Cup.

The young amateur explained: "After the first round, I thought of possibly turning pro and becoming a millionaire. But that's not going to happen now.

"I've got things to learn, as I've lost by about 20 shots this week.

"If you're going to play with the best players in the world, you have to chip and putt like they do.

"Hopefully I can just play well in the coming weeks and we'll see what happens.

"I'd love to play in the Walker Cup in September. I've made every team possible as an amateur, so Walker Cup would be excellent."

After two days in the inspiring presence of Tom Watson, Lewis was on Saturday paired with another multiple major winner, Phil Mickelson.

Lewis said: "I feel like I'm ready in certain areas, but playing with Phil Mickelson made me feel terrible around the greens."

He began the final round of his first Open with a bogey but immediately made amends with a birdie at the second before sinking a 35-foot eagle putt at the long seventh.

He was back to level for the round again when he ran up a double-bogey at the ninth, but managed to birdie the 10th.

Things went downhill from there, though, with five dropped shots over the final seven holes, including that triple-bogey at 14 when he put his second shot, a three-wood, out of bounds.

But that negative was not enough to spoil a memorable week for Lewis.

He said: "I was just happy to play with Tom Watson and Henrik Stenson, and Phil Mickelson too.

"And I hope I can maybe one day come back and win."

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