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Tom Lewis wins in third pro start and becomes world no. 166
October 17, 2011

He may have been only three events into his professional career but that did not stop England’s newest star Tom Lewis from shooting a final round 65 to streak clear of the field and take the Portugal Masters title by two. Lewis, who rose to prominence after co-leading the first round of the Open Championship earlier this summer, started four adrift of overnight leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello and started solidly with three birdies in his first 12 holes to jump into contention. What followed was truly impressive, posting four red figures in a row from 14 to break clear and leave his more experienced followers in his wake. The win not only sees Lewis jump inside the top 60 on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai at 53, but also sees him rocket 455 places up the World Ranking to 166.

Possibly more famous recently for his wetsuit wearing, shiny helmet sporting musical antics with his parody band the Golf Boys, Ben Crane proved Sunday at the McGladrey Classic that he is more than just a figure of fun and can seriously golf his ball. Having almost pulled out of the tournament a few minutes before his tee time on Thursday, and with his wife due to give birth any day now, Crane fired off a superb run of birdies on Sunday that saw him into a play-off alongside 2011 form horse Webb Simpson. Crane holed a great comeback putt for par on the second extra hole leaving Simpson the simple task of holing from inside three feet to continue sudden death. However the putt hit the lip and spun out to leave Crane victorious and hand him his fourth PGA Tour victory. He is now 50th on both the PGA Tour Money List and the Official World Golf Ranking, where he jumped up 27 places.

Australian David Gleeson bookended rounds of 66 with a pair of 68s this week to take the Hero Indian Open by three strokes from his nearest challenger, and home favourite, Chiragh Kumar. Gleeson, who had previously won twice on the Asian Tour, had struggled for form earlier in the season and had missed five cuts in a row before bouncing back with a second place in Macau a month or so ago. Since then a couple of solid finishes, but nothing that would have suggested such a dominant display this week in New Delhi. The win sees Gleeson climb 269 places to 309 on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Korea’s Sang Moon Bae is quickly becoming one of the Japan Golf Tour’s most prolific winners, picking up his third win of the season, and his second in the last three events after a playoff victory at the Japan Open 2011. Having trailed overnight leader Nobuhito Sato by four heading into Sunday, Bae hung tough on a tricky final day to tie for the lead with Kenichi Kuboya, before taking the title with a par at the first extra hole. The win sees Bae extend his already impressive lead on the Japan Golf Tour Money List, and sees him join the World’s top 50 for the first time at 35th.

The biggest hitter on the Nationwide Tour this season proved yet again that he has the finesse to win, as Jason Kokrak dominated the Miccosukee Championship to win by seven in Miami. Having picked up his first win a mere five weeks ago, this victory ensures that Kokrak will be joining the PGA Tour in 2012 and sees him climb 122 places in the World to position 216.

Sam Little continued a run of imperious form on the European Challenge Tour as he picked up his third win in the last four events after edging out Sweden’s Pelle Edberg in a playoff at the Roma Golf Open. Having previously not won on the Tour since 2004, Little has picked up titles in Russia, France and now Italy to leapfrog Tommy Fleetwood atop the Challenge Tour Rankings with just the Grand Final left to play in three weeks times. His third title this season also gives him the chance to play on the European Tour for the remainder of 2011, the second man to achieve that feat this year after Frenchmen Benjamin Hebert. Having started the year ranked 747 in the World, Little now finds himself 230th after a jump of 75 spots after this win.

Argentina’s Paolo Pinto claimed his fourth career title on the Tour de las Americas with a three stroke victory at the VI Abierto Internacional de Golf Hacienda Chicureo Copa Claro by Sony Ericsson. He led by two going into the final round, and four birdies in a row from 11 saw him shoot a Sunday 66 and take the title. With four wins, Pinto is also now tied for fifth on the all-time winners list on the TLA and rises 232 places to a World ranking of 643.

South Africa’s Doug McGuigan claimed his fifth Sunshine Tour title after a tense five hole playoff with compatriot Jean Hugo at the Zambia Open. McGuigan started the day with a two stroke lead over Hugo, who has already won three times in 2011, but a 69 to his 67 meant extra holes. As the victor, McGuigan bounds up the OWGR some 298 places and into 408th on the list.

Kang Kyung-Nam followed three rounds of 69 with a final round 70 to take The 6th Meritz Solmoro Open title by a stroke from fellow Korean Han Min-Kyu. It is Kang’s second win of the season on the Korean Golf Tour, and sees him climb inside the World’s top 300 to 269.

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