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Tom McKibbin: Twenty-one-year-old named NI Open tournament host

Tom McKibbin’s rise in the golfing world has been further emphasised by him being named tournament host for this year’s NI Open European Challenge Tour event.

McKibbin, 21, is touring professional at Galgorm Castle where the event will take place in late July.

The tournament, which returns to the second-tier Challenge Tour calendar after a four-year absence, will go under the banner of ‘The NI Open, presented by Tom McKibbin’.

“It’s pretty cool to have it this early,” said McKibbin, of having his name directly associated with a professional tournament.

“When Gary Henry [the managing director of Galgorm Castle] came to me at the end of the year and suggested the idea, it was something I was very keen about straight away.”

Prior commitments during tournament week mean McKibbin won’t compete in the event proper, which takes place from 25-28 July, but he will be in action in the pro-am on 23 July.

“I’ll be there playing in the pro-am and I’m sure I’ll come back up on Sunday to see some of the action,” added McKibbin, who clinched his first DP World Tour triumph last year with a memorable victory at the European Open in Hamburg.

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