Tom McKibbin is hoping to give a good account of himself on debut at the European Tour’s Tenerife Open, stating making the cut would be a job well done on his first outing as a professional.
The Holywood teenager turned to the paid ranks having been overlooked for a place on next month’s GB&I Walker Cup team and will no doubt want to show selectors what they’ll be missing this week in Spain.
“Making the cut would be lovely,” said McKibbin on Wednesday. “Playing all four rounds would be a good week – four solid scores would be lovely. I’m going to commit to every shot, play the course the way I think I should play it and hopefully on Sunday we’ll have had four good rounds.”
“The week has been great so far. We played nine holes today, Monday and 18 yesterday. The course is quite hilly, and the greens are pretty firm, which is nice. It suits my eye a good bit. I like some of the tee shots. But if the course didn’t suit me, I’d still love it, it’s a lovely spot to be right now and I’m looking forward to it.”
Where to from here, the 18-year old was unsure, taking it all in his stride without too much certainty around routes to tour cards, status and schedules.
“I don’t know definitely (how many events I’ll play),” he said. “I just know there’s a good few to play in. I’ve never tried to make a card before, so I couldn’t answer that. All I can do is try and play my best and prepare as best as I can – that would be a good year for me.”
Guiding him this week will be trusty caddie Ricky McCormick who’ll hope to bring a level of comfort to McKibbin’s game as he takes on the stars of the European Tour.
“He’s the assistant pro at Holywood,” McKibbin said. “I’ve play hundreds of rounds with him, he knows my game very well and we agree on a lot of things. I thought that would be the best match for me this week.”
As for the pressure of taking on the big boys, and the inevitable expectation that comes with being a teenaged product of Holywood golf club, McKibbin added: I’m sure there will be pressure. There’s always pressure. I’ll try and limit that as much as I can and go out and commit to every shot, make good decisions and if I play well, I play well. You can only play good or bad – there’s no real indifference. I’m sure there will be pressure, but I’ll try and zone it all out.”
Also in the field this week is Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney, looking to build on his share of 21st last week in Gran Canaria. Alongside him last week was Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell who looks to be hitting form again after a quiet start to 2021, while Paul Dunne and Cormac Sharvin will hope to bounce back from missed cuts last week with both players showing shoots of form despite exiting before the weekend.
- 9.56am – Sharvin
- 1.06pm – Dunne
- 1.17pm – McKibbin
- 1.28pm – Caldwell
- 2.45pm – Niall Kearney
- Full scoring HERE