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Holywood lad Tom McKibbin set for European Tour debut at just 15

 

By Paul Kelly

Holywood GC's rising star, Tom McKibbin, will make his European Tour debut at the innovative new Shot Clock Masters tournament at Diamond Country Club in Altzenbrugg, near Vienna, on June 7-10.

The 15-year-old from Newtownabbey has caught the attention of the golfing world with a string of international victories, most recently at the 2018 Junior Honda Classic (U18) and The Faldo Major Champions Invitational, both in the United States

The Irish boys international became one of the youngest players ever to tee it up on the European Challenge Tour in 2016, aged just 13 years and 222 days when he played in the Northern Ireland Open.

Now, Tom will tee it up in the first event of its kind, one that will see every shot timed as part of the European Tour's bid to combat slow play.

Tom said: "It is very exciting to play on the European Tour for the first time and especially in the first ever tournament like this. Teeing it up at Diamond Country Club will be an amazing experience, but I'm also looking forward to seeing the shot clock technology and how the whole event works.

"I'm in favour of fast play and I consider myself to be a fast player so I think the idea behind the Shot Clock Masters could be great for the future of golf."

Each player in the field at Diamond Country Club will have 50 seconds for a first to play approach shot (including par 3 tee shot), chip or putt and 40 seconds for a tee shot on a par four or par five or second or third to play approach shot, chip or putt.

Players will incur a one-shot penalty for each bad time incurred and these will be shown as a red card against their name on the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, Ireland international Robin Dawson (Tramore) survived a final round stumble to secure a wire-to-wire victory in the Flogas Irish Amateur Championship at Royal County Down yesterday.

The 22-year-old fired a closing six-over-par 77 to finish four shots clear of England's Jamie Gough and Alex Gleeson (Castle).

Top Irish Amatuer Championship results: 282 R Dawson (Tramore), 65, 71, 69, 77.

286 J Gough (Eng), 71, 72, 73, 70; A Gleeson (Castle), 68, 74, 73, 71.

287 A Fitzpatrick (Eng), 68, 70, 73, 76

292 L Shepherd (Eng), 72, 80, 68, 72; C Woollam (RSA), 71, 72, 76, 73.

293 R Foley (Sui), 75, 69, 76, 73; J Cope (Eng), 73, 78, 73, 69; J Sugrue (Mallow), 72, 76, 71, 74; K Reitan (Norway), 69, 75, 75, 74; M Saulez (RSA), 69, 74, 77, 73; A Wilson (Eng), 69, 73, 77, 74.

294 D Howie (Sco), 75, 73, 76, 70; B Hutchinson (Eng), 73, 75, 72, 74; C Mansfield (RSA), 73, 74, 75, 72; E McIntosh (Sco), 72, 78, 73, 71; M Hammer (Ger), 72, 71, 76, 75; T Nel (RSA), 71, 80, 72, 71.

295 T Vahlenkamp (Ger), 74, 75, 72, 74; S Easton (Sco), 74, 70, 79, 72; N Bachem (Ger), 70, 75, 74, 76.

296 T Plumb (Eng), 78, 74, 73, 71; M Power (Kilkenny), 77, 72, 75, 72; J McMahon (Eng), 75, 74, 74, 73; G Bloor (Eng), 71, 75, 73, 77; D Hague (Eng), 69, 79, 74, 74.

297 O Huggins (Eng), 76, 73, 71, 77; B Gill (Eng), 70, 77, 77, 73.

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