Huge weekend ahead for McKibbin despite slipping closer the bubble

Tom McKibbin during the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final (Picture: Niall O'Shea)

Tom McKibbin slipped closer to dropping outside of the top-20 on the Road to Mallorca standings after brutal weather conditions rocked the second round at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final.

The Holywood teen carded a second consecutive one-over 73 at Club de Golf Alcanada to fall to 23rd on the leaderboard at two-over-par, but that has hurt his chances of earning promotion to the DP World Tour next season.

McKibbin is now projected to drop to 19th, one spot above the cut-off mark, and any further moves in the wrong direction could prove fatal to his hopes of moving up a rank for next year.


The 19-year-old did manage the conditions fairly well all things considered, dropping just two shots in his round – at the fifth and 18th – but only one birdie at the par-five seventh.

The upside is that the scoring is very bunched in Mallorca, with McKibbin still only seven shots off the lead held by England’s Matthew Baldwin and France’s Adrien Saddier.

Saddier was outstanding in his second round, seven birdies – including four-in-a-row – in a bogey-free 65 taking him to the top of the leaderboard at five-under-par alongside Baldwin, who signed for five birdies and two bogeys in a 69.

Germany’s Nick Bachem is one shot behind in solo third at four-under-par after a 70, with France’s Jeong weon Ko staying in the mix at three-under-par despite a disappointing 72 on day two.

It was a day that prompted many complaints due to slow play because of the brutal conditions, with most of the three-balls taking five hours and 45 minutes to complete their rounds.

Overnight leader Euan Walker was chief among them, the Scot carding a three-over 75 to drop back to one-under-par and down into 20th on the Road to Mallorca.

Meanwhile, John Murphy was better in his second round but it was a roller coaster performance from the Kinsale man as he had an eagle, two birdies, a bogey and a triple-bogey in a level-par 72 to leave him four-over-par and tied for 32nd, likely needing a win to break into the top-20 on the Road to Mallorca.


John Murphy tees off during the Rolex Callenge Tour Grand Final at Alcanada Golf Club in Mallorca.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

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