Irish teenage golfing sensation invited to compete at Irish Open by Rory McIlroy
Pity the pro who gets pitted against Tom McKibbin.
He may only be 13, but the Antrim teenager is a serious golfer and may catch a few of his competitors unawares at the K Club in a fortnight.
Playing the game for only four years, McKibbin was crowned World Junior Champion at the age of 12, and earlier this year won the Junior Honda Classic in Florida.
— mygolfnews (@MyGolfNews) January 4, 2016
His immense promise has been rewarded by Rory McIlroy, who knows a thing or two about youthful potential (McIlroy won the World Junior Championship when he was nine).
McKibbin has been invited to tee up at the Irish Open Pro-Am on May 14th, an event which is hosted by McIlroy's charity, the Rory Foundation.
McIlroy explained to the Belfast Telegraph how McKibbin impressed him when they played together in the United States.
“Tom McKibbin is a great talent. I played a round with Tom in Florida recently and he is the real deal. At only 13 years of age, I think he has a remarkable golfing future ahead of him.
"Having seen him play a couple of times now, he impresses me more each time. And I can think of no better place to showcase his talents than at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at the K Club."
McKibbin has been practicing non-stop in preparation for the event in Kildare.
"I have to thank Rory for inviting me to play in the Pro Am at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Not only do I get a day off school but I get to play alongside one of the best golfers in the world. It’s getting close now and I’m pretty excited. I’ve been practicing as often as possible.”
Also taking part in the Pro-Am will be McIlroy's showbiz buddy and less-than-sure-footed caddy Niall Horan, retired national hunt jockey AP McCoy, actor James Nesbitt and legendary former goalkeeper Pat Jennings.