Tom Lewis targets Ryder Cup and Sir Nick Faldo record

Tom Lewis
Lewis won his maiden European title after five birdies in the last seven holes

British rookie Tom Lewis has targeted a place in next year's Ryder Cup and Sir Nick Faldo's major record following his maiden European Tour victory last week.

He won the in only his third professional event and said: "At the moment the Ryder Cup is do-able."

The 20-year-old is from the same club as Faldo, who won six majors. "I want to beat Nick's record," Lewis said.

"It's a long way off but I don't like being second at anything so second best in our club's not a great feeling."

The Welwyn Garden City prodigy first came to prominence at this year's Open Championship at Sandwich, and played with legendary American Tom Watson, who he was named after.

After eventually finishing 30th in the Open he played in Britain and Ireland's triumphant Walker Cup team against the USA last month, and is less than 130,000 euros behind Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, who leads the race to be crowned rookie of the year, a title won by Faldo in 1977.

"It would be great to also win rookie of the year but I'm going to have to finish strongly in my last three or four events," Lewis said.

Victory in Portugal earned him a two-year exemption on the European Tour, and earning his tour card after just three tournaments equalled the length of time Rory McIlroy took to do so in 2007.

Asked about his chances of gaining a place in Jose Maria Olazabal's European team for the Ryder Cup match at Medinah, Illinois in September 2012, he said: "It's a long campaign. If I do well again this week and carry on doing well then it's a possibility."

Lewis was speaking in Spain ahead of the Castello Masters, where he will play the first two rounds with Sergio Garcia and defending champion Matteo Manassero, both of whom also enjoyed victories soon after turning professional.

Former world number two Garcia, who is also a promoter for the tournament, said of the pressures Lewis may now face: "I don't think it is difficult if you have the right people around you and I'm pretty sure Tom has that.

"But to become a great golfer you have to keep working hard, be humble and believe in your abilities."

Another visitor to the course was the world number two tennis player Rafael Nadal, who partnered Garcia in the eve-of-tournament pro-am event.

"To sit here with Rafa is something I'd never dreamed of," said Lewis at a press conference. "I've only watched him on TV. It's an honour."