Tom McKibbin

McKibbin enjoys breakthrough win at Porsche European Open

Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin held his nerve in Hamburg as he claimed his first DP World Tour title with a two-stroke victory at the Porsche European Open.

McKibbin produced a display of maturity beyond his 20 years as he battled home favourites Max Kieffer and Marcel Siem for the title at Green Eagle Golf Courses as they were bidding to end a 15-year wait for the next German winner on home soil. The trio shared the lead at one stage on the back nine, but McKibbin, who made the turn three under par, recovered from dropped shots on 11 and 13  with a birdie on 15 to move clear on eight under par.

Kieffer narrowly missed an eagle putt on 18 which would have taken him to eight under, settling for a seven under total. Siem joined him on that number with a birdie of his own on the 72nd hole, as did Frenchman Julien Guerrier who also shared second place.

McKibbin, who earned his card for 2023 after graduating from the European Challenge Tour, hit his drive on 18 just right of the fairway, but then hit a nerveless 5-iron into the heart of the green, two-putting for birdie, a three under round of 70 and a nine under par total.

McKibbin, who has missed six cuts in the 13 events he has played this year, said: “I’ve learned that I’m good enough to win out here. I always thought I was, but to prove it today was pretty special. I guess I’ve learned a lot from my failures, missing cuts by a shot and missing things slightly, so to take those things I’ve learned and put them into play was nice.

“I approached it the same as the first three days. The course is hard, the way I played the first three days was good enough, so I thought if I played the same sort of golf and shot three or four under it might be enough. I knew that you didn’t have to force loads of birdies and there wouldn’t be too many people going too low. That helped a bit. I played it the exact same and fortunately played a little bit better.”

McKibbin, who is a member at Holywood Golf Club in Northern Ireland, the same club that Rory McIlroy learned to play the game, picked up €315,000 for the win and moved up 69 places to 23rd in the Race to Dubai ranking.

Tom McKibbin WITB
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (9°)
Fairway woods: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15°, 21°)
Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4), P7MC (5,6),  P7MB (7-9)
Wedges: TaylorMade MG3 (46°)
Putter: TaylorMade TP Bandon
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x