McKibbin – No New Motor, No Pot Of Cash Nor A Bottle Of Bubbly After Joy Of First Tour Ace

There was no spanking new motor​, ​no pot cash or even a bottle bubby, and nor was there any spectators on the tee but that didn’t worry rookie Tom McKibbin in grabbing a first DP World Tour ace on day one of the co-sanctioned South Africa Open.

The Holywood teenager holed out, hitting a 5-iron into the par-3 11th hole, with the ball landing short and running straight into the hole on route to a five-under 67 on the Blair Atholl course in Joburg.

“It was just a perfect 5-iron and my caddie Chris just said go right at it and I went right at it,” said McKibbin.

“It never really left the flag.  I couldn’t really see it being uphill and I heard everyone cheering so I knew it went in.

“It was really cool.”

The effort, and in what was his 315th shot since securing full DP World Tour membership, helped in McKibbin ending the round sharing seventh place.

“It was a very good day, obviously I got a little bit of luck after the turn but played really solid after the third hole and just had a really good day from there,” McKibbin added.

“It’s a really good course, it’s long and challenging but I definitely enjoyed the test. Got to hit it in the right positions, especially on the greens, some are really big, you can hit the greens and be far away but I’m really enjoying it.

“I play quite well in South Africa, the altitude can be tricky especially with the wind so you need to trust it but the ball goes quite a long way. You could be 190 out and hitting a 7 or 8 iron.

“I’m just here to play another tournament and see how good I can do, obviously it is a big tournament. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week the course suits me quite well.”

South African Thriston Lawrence signed for an eight-under 64 to lead the field by a shot in the second event of the 2022/23 wraparound DP World Tour.

Lawrence matched his own course record and with the 25-year coming off the

2021/22 season with two wins, and his efforts earning him the Sir Henry Cotton DP World Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ title

Gary Hurley, in his debut DP World Tour start, posted a three-under 69 while John Murphy struggled with a 74.

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