Not Rory McIlroy’s day at the Memorial, but he’s happy for countryman Tom McKibbin
DUBLIN, Ohio – It was a gritty victory for the other lad from Holywood, Northern Ireland.
While Rory McIlroy readied for the final round at the Memorial with a share of the 54-hole lead, it was Tom McKibbin, 20, who closed with a 70 to win the Porsche European Open and become the second-youngest Northern Irishman (behind McIlroy) to win on the DP World Tour.
“I watched every shot this morning. I was really happy for him,” said McIlroy, who finished with a final-round 75 at Muirfield Village that left him tied for seventh place.
McKibbin grew up playing Holywood Golf Club, the same course McIlroy learned the game on, and the world No. 3 said he’s not surprised McKibbon was able to secure his first victory on the European tour so quickly.
“For 20 years old he showed so much composure. We’ve all known from back home the potential that he has, but I think to break through and win for the first time at 20, there’s a bright future ahead of him,” said McIlroy, who won his first title on the European circuit at 19. “So proud of him, really. I’ve known Tom since he was 10 years old and to see his progression and see where he is today and get that first win in Europe was really cool to see.”