Tom McKibbin will make his first professional appearance at the Horizon Irish Open when the popular tournament returns to The K Club from September 7-10.
The 20-year-old became the youngest winner from the island of Ireland on the DP World Tour since Rory McIlroy when he triumphed at the Porsche European Open earlier this month, as he produced a display of maturity beyond his years in Hamburg to win by two strokes.
A product of Holywood Golf Club, the same club where McIlroy honed his skills as a junior, McKibbin made his Irish Open debut in 2020 as an amateur and then turned professional the following year. He earned his DP World Tour card for 2023 after finishing inside the Top 20 on the European Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca Rankings and secured his maiden victory on just his 26th start.
McKibbin secured his place at this year’s Horizon Irish Open as the leading player from the island of Ireland at last year’s Irish Challenge, which was also held at The K Club, finishing runner-up to Todd Clements.
“I can’t wait to play the Horizon Irish Open later this year,” said McKibbin. “Since securing my place after my runner-up finish at the Irish Challenge last year, this is an event I’ve really been looking forward to playing. I made my first appearance in the tournament three years ago but it was during Covid restrictions, so to have the crowds there in full voice will be unforgettable.
“The K Club is a superb venue and I’m excited to play in front of the home crowds again in September.”
The Horizon Irish Open returns to The K Club later this year for the first time since 2016, when McIlroy wowed the crowds as produced an eagle-par-birdie finish as he stormed to a three-stroke victory.
McKibbin will tee it up alongside four-time Major Champion McIlroy, 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry, three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington, six-time DP World Tour winner Tyrrell Hatton and two-time PGA TOUR winner Séamus Power when the Horizon Irish Open returns to The K Club in September.
The K Club will host the Horizon Irish Open in 2023, 2025 and 2027 as part of a multi-year agreement which will also see the European Challenge Tour’s Irish Challenge held there in the intervening years, with McKibbin earning his place at the 2023 Irish Open after his runner-up finish at last year’s Irish Challenge. The venue is synonymous with championship golf in Ireland, also hosting 13 European Opens from 1995 to 2007.
Also set to tee it up are fellow rising stars Nick Bachem of Germany and Englishman Dan Bradbury. The pair, also in their rookie seasons on the DP World Tour are part of an exciting crop of young talent making their mark on the world stage.
Bradbury secured victory on just his third start on Tour at the Joburg Open as he became the lowest-ranked professional in the Tour’s history to win. Playing in South Africa on an invite, he sat at 1,397th on the Official World Golf Ranking before his life-changing victory.
Like Bradbury, Bachem also won his first title in South Africa as he triumphed at the Jonsson Workwear Open.
The 23-year-old became the fastest German winner in Tour history as he tasted victory on his 12th start.
History was made at the Horizon Irish Open in 2022 when Adrian Meronk became the first winner on the DP World Tour from Poland. The 29-year-old triumphed by three strokes at Mount Juliet Estate as he joined a roll of honour that includes, in addition to Harrington and McIlroy, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Jon Rahm.
A festival of golf, music and entertainment is in store this September with Scouting for Girls and The Stunning also set to headline the main stage at the popular tournament. Scouting for Girls will take to the main stage on Saturday September 9, with The Stunning bringing the tournament to a close on Sunday September 10. The two bands will perform after the final putt has dropped each day.
To purchase tickets for the 2023 Horizon Irish Open at The K Club, click here.