Back nine blitz of 29 lifts McKibbin into the mix

Ronan MacNamara

Tom McKibbin (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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A stunning back nine of 29 helped Tom McKibbin surge back into contention at the halfway stage of the SDC Championship in South Africa.

McKibbin turned in level-par before playing his final nine holes in seven-under-par to move to three-under through 36 holes and just five shots off the lead held by Frenchman Julien Brun.

Having opened with a disappointing 76, the Holywood native knew he needed to go low to make the cut but he moved up a whopping 82 places with a sizzling 65.

The 20-year-old struggled in the wind on Thursday but took advantage of the benign conditions on day two.

“Definitely a different day! Yesterday was kind of crazy just wasn’t really golf or fun anymore after yesterday and then I knew today I had to go out and shoot a couple under because the conditions were a lot easier,” said McKibbin who birdied the 10th before going birdie, eagle, birdie from the 12th, he closed with a brace of birdies.

“Went out on the front nine and shot a pretty boring level even though I hit the ball quite nicely and then I turned it on around the back nine.

“Just see how low we can go over the weekend, I don’t know what the weather is meant to be like, but there are scores to be had out there. It would be nice if it blew more over the weekend, let that happen!”

The DP World Tour rookie was pleased with how he controlled his ball flight in round two and he feels comfortable in the conditions.

“The front nine was very calm with no wind at all and the tees moved quite forward but there still was a good bit of wind it was still a factor, it wasn’t playing flat calm you had to take the flight down and things like that. I just kept trying to hit golf shots and not hit the ball in the air too much, try and keep it in front of me and limit the curve and that was the difference.

“The course is pretty good, generous off the tee on a day like today, windy it’s a different story, it’s slopey around the greens and because it’s so windy the greens are slow so they are difficult to read.”


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