Defending champion Tom Lewis hopes for form boost at the Portugal Masters at Oceanico Victoria club
Last Updated: 10/10/12 3:22pm
Tom Lewis: brilliant winner last year but has gone backwards in 2012
Tom Lewis hopes a return to the scene of his famous breakthrough win can spark a return to form.
The 21-year-old from Welwyn Garden, playing in just his third event after turning pro, scored a superb victory in the Portugal Masters last year but returns to the Oceanico Victoria club in Vilamoura having failed to make a cut in the last five months.
It's seem him slump to 123rd on the Money List although the two-year exemption he received for winning this event 12 months ago means he has no worries about his Tour card.
Lewis told European Tour radio: "It's a shame I'm not playing as well as I was this time last year.
"It's disappointing that I won't be up to my A-game. I've had some good rounds, but I haven't been able to put two rounds together.
"I was holing a lot more putts last year. It's frustrating because I know I am capable of doing it and I've improved on most of the areas I've wanted to, but it just has not come together.
"I'm frustrated with myself for not performing to the level I expect.
"I did expect a little bit of a dip in my career, but my game isn't at the level I thought it was going to be," added Lewis who shot to fame in the 2011 Open at Royal St George's when he took a share of the first round lead.
"I'm disappointed and I wish I had done better - of course I do - but luckily I've got next year."
Lewis's victory earned him £335,000, whereas his 2012 winnings on the circuit total £125,000.
Not about the money
"In my eyes it's not really about the money - I've never really been interested in that. It's about playing golf and trying to improve," he said.
"Unfortunately it's been an expensive year because I've missed so many cuts (13 in Europe, one in America) travelling all round the world staying in nice places.
"I've learnt a lot, but I'm also disappointed I haven't turned that into performance."
Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari are the two members of Europe's Ryder Cup team in the field and, perhaps not surprisingly, they have been paired in the first two rounds with captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
Olazabal put them in the bottom two positions in the singles when his side were four points behind. After a spectacular fightback Kaymer beat Steve Stricker to guarantee the cup stayed in European hands and then Molinari's half with Tiger Woods gave them victory in the match.