McKibbin chips in to make the cut: “It was stressful”

Ronan MacNamara

Tom McKibbin (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Tom McKibbin made hard work of it, but he is safely through to the weekend after a dramatic chip in birdie on the par-5 18th just about ensured he made the halfway cut at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

Sitting on the cut mark at two-under playing the par-5 18th, McKibbin pulled his tee shot left into the native area. Having drawn a poor lie, he was only able to advance the ball 55 yards meaning his third shot from the rough with a wood was from 226 yards.

The 20-year-old missed the green right and knowing he could not afford to drop a shot, he made the afternoon wait much easier on himself as he pitched in for a closing birdie to move to three-under and sign for a 71.

“It was stressful,” McKibbin laughed.

“Started off nicely and then got cold in the middle. The start of the back nine was playing tricky into the wind and I dropped shots there so it was pretty tight coming in. Overall it was pretty similar to yesterday, just a few things here and there and I was fortunate to pitch in on the last for a birdie.

“Definitely the chip in on the last was the highlight. I hit a terrible tee shot and had to go into the green with a wood on my third shot. I knew I needed to get up and down to play tomorrow and Sunday so it was nice to finish that way.”

The Holywood native finished with two birdies in round one and he continued his momentum with a brace of opening gains in round two before dropping one on the fourth. McKibbin appeared to be losing his way after dropped shots on ten and eleven but three birdies and a bogey in his last five holes capped another strong finish.

It arrests a run of back-to-back missed cuts for the DP World Tour rookie.

“I’ll try and play some nice golf, my game feels decent enough so hopefully get the ball a little bit closer and have a good weekend.”

At the time of writing, McKibbin is in a share of 45th place eight shots adrift of Adrian Meronk, Ramus Hojgaard and David Law.

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