Hole-in-one helps Tom McKibbin make strong start in South Africa

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The 19-year-old holed out with a five iron from 232 yards on the 11th hole.
Posted on
December 1, 2022
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A spectacular hole-in-one helped Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin make a superb start to the Investec South African Open Championship.

The 19-year-old, who hails from the same golf club as world number one Rory McIlroy, holed out with a five iron from 232 yards on the 11th hole at Blair Atholl Golf and Country Estate, the longest course in DP World Tour history.

McKibbin also recorded five birdies and two bogeys to card an opening 67 and trail local favourite Thriston Lawrence by three shots, Lawrence equalling his own course record with a superb 64.

“I’m feeling good, it was a good round of golf to start the week off so I’m pretty happy,” said McKibbin, who secured his DP World Tour card via the Challenge Tour rankings last month.

“(Driving) is probably the strength of my game so to be able to take the head cover off every hole and challenge a few of the bunkers is pretty good.”

Asked about the hole-in-one, McKibbin told Sky Sports: “The caddie said ‘Go right at it’ and it didn’t leave the flag. I can’t see it going in so just listened for the crowd and a roar went up and we knew it was in from there.

Tom McKibbin
Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin made a hole-in-one during the first round of the SA Open (Peter Morrison/PA)

“I’ve had five now and only ever seen one of them go in. They’ve all been like that today, uphill and sort of blind but it’s always nice to add another one.”

South Africa's Lawrence was recently name the 2022 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.

"It was good fun. I'm quite familiar with this golf course. I played a Sunshine Tour event (Blair Atholl Championship) last year and managed to shoot 64 in my last round to get the course record. It was great fun today, I really played nicely, managed to drop a few putts that I didn't do last week. It was nice fun.

"My father gave me a nice tip. Stand a little further away from the golf ball. He just saw something.

"I just kept doing what I was doing - hitting good drives and my approach shots were really great. Make a few putts and sticking to my game plan."

England's Ross Fisher birdied five of his last seven holes to shoot 65 and share second place with Sweden's Jens Fahrbring, with Scotland’s Scott Jamieson a shot further back alongside Germany’s Matti Schmid, who had three eagles in his 66.

Ryder Cup vice-captain Edoardo Molinari matched the 67 of playing partner McKibbin with six birdies and a solitary bogey.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1
1LAWRENCE, Thriston-864
2FISHER, Ross-765
4JAMIESON, Scott-666
SCHMID, Matti-666
7MCKIBBIN, Tom-567
MOLINARI, Edoardo-567
NIENABER, Wilco-567
MICHAEL, Anthony-567
TARRIO, Santiago-567
BROWN, Luke-567
13SORDET, Clément-468
FICHARDT, Darren-468
GRADECKI, Mateusz-468
WARREN, Marc-468
JOHANNESSEN, Kristian Krogh-468
AIKEN, Thomas-468
COCKERILL, Aaron-468
BRING, Christoffer-468
DANTORP, Jens-468
SCHAPER, Jayden-468
25DE BEER, Kyle (AM)-369
SIEM, Marcel-369
MAAS, Christian (AM)-369
HURLEY, Gary-369
STERNE, Richard-369
HANNA, Chase-369
LOMBARD, Zander-369
KIMSEY, Nathan-369
GAVINS, Daniel-369
HUTSBY, Sam-369
KO, Jeong weon-369
38PARATORE, Renato-270
SPACEY, Matthew-270
THIMBA JNR, Toto-270
STRYDOM, Ockie-270
DU PREEZ, James Hart-270
PULKKANEN, Tapio-270
PRINSLOO, Jaco-270
JERLING, Luke-270
BACHEM, Nick-270
ROHWER, Martin-270
OTAEGUI, Adrian-270
FRITTELLI, Dylan-270
MOOLMAN, Pieter-270
KRUYSWIJK, Jacques-270
LINDBERG, Mikael-270
DU PLESSIS, Hennie-270
SCHOTT, Freddy-270
STRYDOM, Tristen-270
EASTON, Bryce-270
HAINDL, Alex-270
HUGO, Jean-270
FILIPPI, Luca-270
61LANGASQUE, Romain-171
BROWN, Daniel-171
WU, Ashun-171
DINGLE, Wynand-171
COETZEE, George-171
WALTERS, Justin-171
BROOMHEAD, Jonathan (AM)-171
MITCHELL, Malcolm-171
NETHUNZWI, Musiwalo-171
POTGIETER, Aldrich (AM)-171
LAPORTA, Francesco-171
BEKKER, Oliver-171
DAVIDSE, Keenan-171
CROCKER, Sean-171
VAN DER SPUY, Rourke-171
GRACE, Branden-171
SMIT, Combrinck-171
RAVETTO, David-171
SOUTHGATE, Matthew-171
BREMNER, Merrick-171
PALMER, Michael G-171
VENTER, Albert-171
FORSSTRÖM, Simon-171
STAL, Gary-171
89STONE, BrandonPar72
STRYDOM, Jean-PaulPar72
MORRISON, JamesPar72
ENOCH, RhysPar72
DEL REY, AlejandroPar72
HESS, JacquinPar72
LUITEN, JoostPar72
KNAPPE, AlexanderPar72
PREMLALL, Yurav (AM)Par72
KRISTJANSSON, GudmundurPar72
102BRUINERS, Heinrich+173
VAN DER MERWE, Janko (AM)+173
NORRIS, Shaun+173
FORREST, Grant+173
DE JAGER, Louis+173
SADDIER, Adrien+173
ROWE, Lyle+173
BALDWIN, Matthew+173
NEMECZ, Lukas+173
WILLIAMSON, Andrew+173
MOWAT, Callum+173
VAN ROOYEN, Erik+173
CAMPILLO, Jorge+173
BAILEY, Brooklin+173
AFRICA, Keelan+173
BREEN, Adam+173
OTTO, Hennie+173
SIMONSEN, Martin+173
HIDALGO, Angel+173
AHLERS, Jaco+173
KAMINSKI, Rupert+173
ALBERTSE, Louis+173
REDMAN, Jake+173
126VAN TONDER, Daniel+274
NAIDOO, Dylan+274
KRUGER, Jbe+274
VAN ZYL, Jaco+274
MURPHY, John+274
131LEE, Joshua+375
CONRADIE, Ruan+375
KARLSSON, Anton+375
ERIKSSON, Philip+375
ARMITAGE, Marcus+375
VAN DRIEL, Darius+375
LOUBSER, Herman+375
CALDERON, Matias+375
MOSTERT, Dylan+375
KORB, Ruan+375
BLAAUW, Jacques+375
AXELSEN, John+375
EDÉN, Tobias+375
144FRADE, Nicholaus+476
PORTEOUS, Haydn+476
HANSEN, Joachim B+476
147VAN WYK, Keelan+577
CONRADIE, Estiaan+577
JARVIS, Casey+577
JACOBS, Wade+577
DU PLOOY, Gerard+577
FERREIRA, Stephen+577
TREE, Toby+577
154RAMA, Nikhil+678
HUNDEBØLL, Oliver+678
STORM, Graeme+678
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