Holywood’s Tom McKibbin has booked his place in Sunday’s final of the Australian Amateur Championship at Royal Queensland in Brisbane.
The 17-year old defeated England’s Benjamin Jones 1UP in a tense semi-final encounter to set up a decider against home favourite, Jediah Morgan.
The Co Down international will now get the chance to make it two Irish champions in a row following Portmarnock pro, Conor Purcell’s victory in the event last January.
“I’m feeling great, really happy,” said McKibbin. “It was a great match against Ben. I always knew it was going to be tough so I just tried to play my best and thankfully I did.
“It’s my first time here. Obviously the weather at home hasn’t been great so I thought I’d come down here and find a few tournaments to play, and down here the tournaments are world class in this weather as well which is great. Conor [Purcell] winning the event last year really opened my eyes to it.”
— Golf Australia ⛳️ (@GolfAust) January 18, 2020
McKibbin had early soundly beaten Queensland’s Louis Dobbelaar in their quarter-final with a 4&2 win and will now look to become only the second ever Irish winner at the event after Purcell’s triumph in 2019.
That will be no easy task after Sunday’s opponent Morgan showed fine form to dismantle England’s Charlie Strickland 5&3 in their semi-final match.
McKibbin advanced from 16th place in stroke play qualifying on three-under-par after returning rounds of 72 and 68.