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Rory McIlroy invites 13-year-old to play alongside him in Irish Open pro-am

Tom McKibbin will get to play alongside one of the world’s best players – and get a day off school!

Tom McKibbin and McIlroy.
Tom McKibbin and McIlroy.
Image: Belfast Telegraph/Twitter

RORY MCILROY HAS kindly invited a young Irish golfer to play alongside him in the pro-am at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open later this month.

13-year-old Tom McKibbin will partner McIlroy at The K Club for the traditional pre-tournament event on Wednesday 18 May after the pair met in Dubai last October.

The teenager from Antrim only took up the sport four years ago but has already shown a prodigious talent for the game having won the Junior World Championships last year.

“Tom McKibbin is a great talent,” McIlroy said. “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 recently won the junior Honda Classic in January, and it was after that victory that McIlroy offered him the chance to play at the Irish Open pro-am.

“When I won the Honda Classic in Florida in January, Rory sent me a message and invited me to play golf with him,” he explained.

“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 practising as often as possible.”

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Ryan Bailey

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