Tom McKibbin is one of six players tied for the lead after 54 holes at the DP World Tour’s Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Club in Hamburg, Germany.
The 20-year-old Holywood man started day two one stroke behind 36-hole leader Maximilian Kieffer, and he’d trade three birdies with three bogeys on the front side, before carding eight straight pars on the back nine and signing off with a birdie-four at the last to post -6.
Seeking his first professional victory, McKibbin currently lies 92nd in the Race to Dubai, and another good round tomorrow will see him go a long way to securing his playing rights for next year and put him in prime position to make the top 60 ahead of the season ending DP World Tour Championship.
“A litle bit scrappy, I’d say,” was McKibbin’s analysis of his round. “The front nine was a bit up and down and on the back nine I felt like I played solid. Hit a lot of nice shots and nice to get the birdie on the last.I’m excited. Looking forward to going out there and playing golf.
“I’ll just take it one hole at a time and see where that leaves us at the end of the day. It would mean the world to me. Just try not to think about that, go out and play my own game and see where that leaves me at the end of tomorrow.”
Six players share the lead on six-under with Julien Guerrier’s six-under 67 arguably the round of the day.
The Frenchman started the day level par, but carded eight birdies on the Porsche Nord Course as he set the clubhouse target of six under .
Guerrier is one of three players in a share of the lead seeking their maiden DP World Tour victories, with John Axelsen, who earned his card at Qualifying School, and McKibbin.
Axelsen, making just his 20th start on Tour, was a member of the victorious Danish side at the 2018 Eisenhower Trophy alongside Højgaard twins Nicolai and Rasmus – who have won five DP World Tour titles between them since 2019.
Also in a share of the lead are 2017 Porsche European Open winner Jordan Smith, of England, Sweden’s Alexander Björk and Scotland’s David Law. Smith will be bidding for a third DP World Tour title tomorrow, with Björk and Law both hoping to secure their second victories.
Marcel Siem leads the home charge with the aim of becoming the first German winner on home soil in 15 years. The 42-year-old, who is just one stroke back from the leaders on five under, won his fifth DP World Tour title at the Hero Indian Open in February, bridging an eight-and-a-half-year gap since his last victory.
“It was always my dream to do something like that,” said Siem when asked about the prospects of a home victory. “On 14 when I holed the putt that stuff came into my head. I had goosebumps and had to slow myself down a bit. That’s the thing in golf, or sports, when these thoughts come into your head. How to manage them and control them. They aren’t good for you in that moment.
“Maybe I can play well with goosebumps tomorrow and it gives me a bit more power. It would mean the world to me. I don’t have that many years left any more. I give myself five or six good years, so not many chances left to win on German soil. It would be crazy and I promise you that party would be unbelievable, but lets talk about that after the round tomorrow.”