Slow start for amateur debutants

Newly turned pros Tom Lewis and Paul Cutler could be among this week’s also rans at the Austrian Open.

Tom Lewis and Paul Cutler, last week’s Walker Cup heroes, could be among this week’s also rans at the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg.

After helping Great Britain and Ireland beat the USA’s best amateurs, Lewis and Cutler decided it was the right moment to turn professional and through their respective management teams managed to get invitations to make their professional debuts here in the European Tour’s Austrian Open.

But it didn’t start well for either of them.

Lewis, the 20-year-old English amateur who blasted his way into the headlines in July by firing five-under 65 to grab a share of the first round lead with Thomas Bjorn at the Open Championship, wasn’t able to repeat these heroics in his first stint as a pro.

He started badly in Austria on Thursday with bogeys at two of his first five holes at Diamond Country Club and eventually ended his round with a two-over total of 74 that has put him perilously close to the expected cut-off mark .

Northern Ireland’s Cutler fared even worse, managing only one birdie against four bogeys and a double bogey in his five-over-par 77 that has dumped him among the men who will definitely miss the cut without a drastic improvement in Friday’s second round.

The early leader in the clubhouse was 37-year-old Dane Thomas Norret, who shot a first round 65.