McKibbin afforded invitation into Canary Islands Championship

Bernie McGuire

Tom McKibbin (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Rookie pro Tom McKibbin is remaining in Tenerife after being afforded a second straight invitation to tee-up in next week’s Canary Islands Championship.

McKibbin, 18, is among 13 pros to receive invitations, including Spaniard Carl Suneson who’s 35-year’s McKibbin’s senior, with the event again being held on this week’s hilly but stunning host Costa Adeje resort course.

It will be ‘Take Two’ for that first pay cheque in the pro ranks for McKibbin after missing the Tenerife Open cut with a pair of 70s. McKibbin had been three-under par after 10 holes on Thursday when weather turned wet, windy and cold for him to complete his closing seven holes in two-over par.

Day two was a mirror of McKibbin’s first professional round with the same number of birdies along with three bogeys.

“The two rounds weren’t too bad,” he said. “Obviously, I’m a bit disappointed not to play all four rounds but it was pretty close. I was just off with a few things each day but I have plenty of time to work on it for next week.

“There were some positive things anyway. My two playing partners, James (Morrison) and Alfredo (Garcia-Heredia) – they are great guys to play with.

“In missing the cut, I am now really looking forward to next week. I know how the course plays in competition so it should be good. I will do a bit of work over the weekend and fire away next week.”

McKibbin missed the likely four-under par cut by two shots while he trailed 14 shots behind Germany’s Nicolai Von Dellingshausen who finished birdie, eagle in a 62 for a 16-under par total.

It prompted the Belfast teenager to be asked what he thought of the scoring over his two rounds:

“It’s seriously great. It’s incredible really,” said McKibbin. “I noticed the leader-board coming off 18 and noticed 16-under was leading and thought he’s playing somewhere else than I am. The level is incredibly high. You can’t be off, at all.”

Fellow Ulsterman Jonathan Caldwell was keeping up with the scoring, making it three cuts from his six starts this year in adding a second round 68 to be just outside the top-20 at eight-under par. And Dubliner Niall Kearney capped a second straight 69 with a ninth hole eagle to join Caldwell over the week at four-under.

Also missing the cut was Paul Dunne (72 & 72) and Cormac Sharvin (73 & 71) with both players, like McKibbin, Caldwell and Kearney, also into next week’s third leg of the Canary Islands triple header.

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