For Britain’s leading golfers there is a familiar route taken across the Atlantic to test their talents on the strongest and most lucrative circuit in the world.
England’s Tom Lewis is the latest to commit to America as he searches for a breakthrough that would, at last, allow him to fulfil massive potential.
Despite flashes of genuine quality, the 29-year-old has still to fully realise his spectacular early promise. It helped him lead the 2011 Open at Royal St George’s as the first amateur to shoot 65 in the Championship’s history.
Since then, Lewis – who was named after Tom Watson, with whom he played during that famous round at Sandwich – has won twice on the European Tour without becoming the force that was anticipated.
Now he has concluded he must fully commit to the PGA Tour to find out the full extent of his talents. This week Lewis plays the Bermuda Championship with his mind made up that the US circuit should be his main priority.
The Welwyn Garden City player’s initial opportunity came from winning last year’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship, which allowed him to graduate to the full PGA Tour.
“Honestly, I always think things happen for a reason,” Lewis told BBC Sport. “I got very lucky last year by winning one tournament out of one and that gave me my status.”
But he believes he has failed to make the most of the opportunity because he was simultaneously trying to make progress on the European Tour. “At the end of last year I didn’t play in enough PGA Tour events,” Lewis said.
“I came back to try to secure myself in the Race to Dubai and halfway through the year I kind of regretted that,” Lewis said before adding: “I told myself that if I got a second chance at it, I wouldn’t take it for granted.”
Another opportunity on the PGA Tour has arrived because of his second-placed finish at the World Golf Championships event in Memphis at the beginning of August.
Weekend rounds of 61 and 66 helped the Englishman finish joint second in a star-studded field. That performance helped Lewis finish 124th in the PGA Tour standings from just 12 events and this status provides starts like Bermuda and the next stop in Houston.
But the following week will be spent resting in Miami for surely the most frustrating interval imaginable because it coincides with the rescheduled Masters. It is the one major he has yet to play.
And Lewis came tantalisingly close. Finishing in a share of sixth place at the 2019 season ending DP World Tour Championship, he climbed to 53 in the world which was just three places shy of earning an Augusta invitation.
“I just laugh about it now, what can you do?” he smiled. “Back then I probably cried about it. I just wonder how old am I going to be when I make it.
“Just playing in