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Rising star Tom McKibbin heading in one direction after accepting an NI Open invite

Golf's rising young star Tom McKibbin has landed a place in this summer's Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle, fresh from rubbing shoulders with his mentor and idol Rory McIlroy at last week's Irish Open.

The Newtownabbey 13-year-old's invitation to compete alongside a top class Challenge Tour field was issued personally by One Direction's Niall Horan, whose Modest Golf Management company will stage the event at Galgorm from July 28-31.

Last week, McKibbin took part in the Irish Open Pro-Am at the K Club as eventual winner Rory's guest, playing alongside the four-time Major winner.

Horan said: "We've heard a lot about the Northern Ireland Open; it's one of the bigger events, bringing 30-40,000 fans. Tom has clearly got it, he has his head screwed on plus he's a really nice lad. He's the future of the game."

Earlier this year, McKibbin won the Junior Honda Classic in Florida and landed the Under-12 World Championship in North Carolina last August.

Tickets for the NI Open are free and available at niopen.golf

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