Open silver medal winner Tom Lewis turns professional

Tom Lewis, winner of the silver medal for the best amateur at The Open in July, has turned professional.

The 20-year-old shot to fame when he shared the lead after a five-under opening round 65 at Royal St George's before eventually finishing 30th.

"I am very excited to get out there and see how I measure up," said the Englishman from Welwyn Garden City.

"The 2011 Open Championship was fantastic for me and I learnt a lot from the occasion."

Lewis was also a member of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team that beat the United States 14-12 at Royal Aberdeen in September.

He will make his professional debut at the Austrian Open and has also been invited to compete at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

"I am very grateful to the tournament promoters who have generously offered me invitations," added Lewis.

"I hope I will perform at my best to thank them for the opportunity."

Lewis will need to win somewhere in the region of £200,000 in a little under three months to earn his card for the 2012 European Tour.