McKibbin not thinking about DP World Tour promotion after blistering 66

Ronan MacNamara

Tom McKibbin (Image: Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Tom McKibbin isn’t getting drawn into any permutations surrounding his DP World Tour promotion hopes after a six-under 66 moved him into contention at the halfway stage of the English Trophy presented by Rocket Yard Sports Marketing. 

The Holywood teenager carded seven birdies and just the one dropped shot as he skipped to nine-under and within four of Ugo Coussaud who went one better with a 65 at Frilford Heath.

The 19-year-old entered the week in 15th place on the Road to Mallorca ahead of next month’s Grand Final with the top-20 earning DP World Tour cards. A win would secure his place in Europe’s top-tier while as high a finish as possible would ease the burden in Mallorca, but his sole focus is on his own golf. 

“Yeah it was a good day, I had to play a lot of holes but it was nice to shoot a low one and with the scoring being good around this place I needed it,” said McKibbin who is in a share of 11th place.

“I’m just trying to stick to my own golf and not make any big numbers or stupid mistakes. Just go out and play and whatever happens, happens. Just trying to go out and play the golf that I am in control of and not make silly decisions. 

“More of the same this weekend, putts have been going in and hopefully I can keep it going that way.” 

The players have been playing catch up after Thursday morning’s round was delayed by two hours due to dense fog, leaving yesterday afternoon’s starters having to finish their opening rounds before facing quick turnarounds. 

In total, McKibbin played 26 holes on day two but a closing birdie on 18 for a first round 69 and an opening birdie on 10 twenty minutes later in round two helped keep the momentum going. 

“In a good way you sort of didn’t get to cool down but it was a lot of golf so it was handy enough,” he said. “I birdied the last of the first round and that boosted me heading into the second round at three under. The tenth which I started on is a par-5 so the way I finished and the way I started was good for keeping momentum. 

“The greens are rolling so nice it’s a great track, it’s scoreable judging by some of the scores out there but you definitely have to play well to shoot those scores.” 

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