Tom McKibbin has described the decision to link up with Galgorm Castle as a “natural fit” after agreeing to become the resort’s new touring professional.
McKibbin joins fellow professionals Michael Hoey and LPGA Tour star Stephanie Meadow as the club’s third touring pro, which will see the 18-year-old represent the club on a global stage as he competes on the Challenge and European Tours.
After a prestigious amateur career around the world, Holywood man McKibbin recently entered the pro ranks and made his debut at the Tenerife Open last month, and has competed at Galgorm on multiple occasions having played at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational in 2019 and last year’s Northern Ireland Open and Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Now, as he bids to take the next step in his professional career, McKibbin says it was an easy decision to link up with the Co Antrim resort.
“I am delighted to become one of the touring professionals for Ireland’s premier spa and golf destination,” said McKibbin.
“I have a long-standing relationship with the team, who have been extremely supportive of me during my amateur career, so this partnership was a natural fit as I embark on my professional journey.
“The facilities are internationally renowned and it is an honour to be associated with a prestigious brand like Galgorm.
“I have competed at Galgorm many times as an amateur in events like the Northern Ireland Open and the 2019 ISPS HANDA World Invitational. Having the right team and set-up is key and Galgorm is an important part of this for me.”
Gary Henry, managing director of Galgorm Castle, added: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome Tom to Galgorm as our touring professional. He is a player with fantastic calibre, as we have seen throughout his amateur career, and we believe he will make waves in the professional ranks and wish him all the best.
“We see the partnership as a fantastic opportunity for both our brands. Galgorm is the perfect place for Tom to call home and develop his game around his tour events. Wherever Tom competes around the world, there is a natural link back to home here in Northern Ireland.”
McKibbin’s first event as Galgorm’s touring professional will be at the Challenge de Cadiz, which gets under way at Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri today. The 18-year-old tees off his first round at 8.10am, while fellow Galgorm man Hoey is among the later wave of starters and gets under way at 1.20pm.
On the European Tour, Jonathan Caldwell is flying the Northern Ireland flag solo at the dual-gender Scandinavian Mixed tournament on the European Tour and Ladies’ European Tour.
Not only will the tournament see men and women compete in the same event at Vallda Golf Club in Gothenburg, Sweden — like the World Invitational — but they will also play side by side, with each tee time featuring two golfers of one gender and one of the other.
Caldwell, who tees off in the final group of the day at 2.20pm, has been paired with Scotland’s Laura Murray and France’s Anne-Lise Caudal.