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And Lewis hasn’t given any hint that there is anywhere he would rather be than on a golf course or that this isn’t the career path he’d chosen. He charmed a news conference with his frankness, honesty and humor Thursday after tying for the lead at 5 under with Thomas Bjorn. (Good example: He said he hopes his parents’ investments in his golf will pay off, “and, if not, then they’re still poor.”)

Lewis qualified for the Open further down the southeast English coast at Rye in June, shooting 63 and another round of 65 interrupted by a four-hour storm break.

From his first tee that day, “we all thought, ‘Christ, who’s this lad?’” said Tony Lloyd, a trustee there. “He hit the best drive I’ve ever seen at Rye Golf Club.”

Shining in qualifying or over two days at the Open is a very different thing from surviving season-in, season-out on the demanding pro tours.

Lewis has many of the shots but not yet the consistency of major-winning pros: with five bogeys to just one birdie, he retreated to 1 under on Friday, still good enough to make the weekend cut. Luck on No. 18 saved him from a worse score. His approach shot fizzed across the green but bounced off a wooden fence post to stay in bounds.

Amateur, yes, but far from amateurish.


John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at) or follow him at