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Rory McIlroy invites Co Antrim rising teen star Tom McKibbin to play in Irish Open Pro Am

Rory McIlroy has invited a 13-year-old boy from Co Antrim to play in the Pro Am at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Rising star Tom McKibbin will play at the event hosted by McIlroy's charity the Rory Foundation on May 18 at The K Club.

Tom took up golf just before his ninth birthday and won the Junior Honda Classic in Florida earlier this year.

Last August he won the World Junior Championships aged 12 - a title which McIlroy also held when he was just nine years old.

Rory said: “Tom McKibbin is a great talent. I played a round with Tom in Florida recently and he is the real deal. At only 13 years of age, I think he has a remarkable golfing future ahead of him.

"Having seen him play a couple of times now, he impresses me more each time. And I can think of no better place to showcase his talents than at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at the K Club."

Tom said he has been practising as much as possible and is very excited.

He said: “I met Rory while I was in Dubai last October and we got chatting while we were both practicing. When I won the Honda Classic in Florida in January, Rory sent me a message and invited me to play golf with him. I

"I have to thank Rory for inviting me to play in the Pro Am at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Not only do I get a day off school but I get to play alongside one of the best golfers in the world. It’s getting close now and I’m pretty excited. I’ve been practicing as often as possible.”

Also confirmed to be taking part is One Direction star Niall Horan, retired jockey AP McCoy, award-winning actor James Nesbitt and ex Northern Ireland, Tottenham and Arsenal footballer, Pat Jennings.

Niall Horan is also due to attend ‘An Evening with Rory’ and Sir Alex Ferguson at the Convention Centre the previous evening, on May 17.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, takes place at The K Club from the May 19 - 22.

A percentage of ticket sales will go to the Rory Foundation

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