Holywood teenager Tom McKibbin will have some guaranteed starts on the Challenge Tour next season as he enters his first full year as a professional.
The Northern Irishman turned pro back in April with the 18-year old making his debut at the European Tour’s Tenerife Open. McKibbin split his time between the Main tour and Challenge Tour with a best of tied-16 result at the le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.
He played eight Challenge Tour events and made five cuts, banking €10,786 with a stroke average of 71.38. McKibbin would eventually finish 108th on the Road to Mallorca off limited starts with one of his big supporters, Grant NI announcing on twitter, “It’s great news to hear that Tom McKibbin’s first season as a touring professional has been so successful!
“He has now earned himself conditional status on the Challenge Tour for the 2022 season. We are proud to support Tom and look forward to seeing him compete in the coming year.”
McKibbin confirmed the news by replying, “Thanks guys for the support! Very proud to represent you.”
Thanks guys for the support! Very proud to represent you ???? https://t.co/NMgk9mZllI
— Tom McKibbin⛳ (@tommckibbin8) December 9, 2021
McKibbin, who turns 19 later this month, finds himself ranked 1142 on the Official World Golf Rankings. He remains one of Ireland’s best fairway prospects and some guaranteed game-time on the Challenge tour next season, a circuit financially boosted by DP World’s involvement next year, should serve as the ideal apprenticeship for the Belfast native.
McKibbin turned pro with a glittering amateur CV that included victories at the prestigious Junior Invitational title at Sage Valley Golf Club, a Junior Honda Classic, a Doral Publix Jr Classic – a title which a certain Rory McIlroy also captured– and a World Junior Championship at Pinehurst in 2015 when McKibbin was just 12.
Best of luck, Tom!