Northern Ireland Open: Schoolboy Tom McKibbin cards 80

Thirteen-year-old Tom McKibbin was invited to play in his first professional tournament
Thirteen-year-old Tom McKibbin was invited to play in his first professional tournament

Thirteen-year-old Tom McKibbin's opening round of 80 left him 15 off the pace at the weather-affected Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle.

World Under-12 champion McKibbin, playing in a professional tournament for the first time, matched the score of playing partner David Rawluk.

Ireland's Damien McGrane and Rory McNamara are in a leading group who shot six-under-par 65.

English pair Sam Hutsby and Ben Stow are also in that group.

It also includes Germany's Bernd Ritthammer, South Africa's Dylan Frittelli and Australian Daniel Gault.

Newtownabbey schoolboy McKibbin had been invited to play at the European Challenge Tour event by the Golf Management company owned by One Direction star Niall Horan.

McKibbin finished his opening round on Friday morning after six hours of play was lost on Thursday because of heavy overnight rain.

Standing five over par after nine when play was halted, McKibbin carded four further bogeys as the wet conditions made the course play long.

McKibbin's round left him near the tail of the field but he was five better than Northern Ireland's 2011 Walker Cup player Alan Dunbar, who crashed to a 14-over-par 85 after taking a 10 at the 18th.

With the organisers attempting to catch up for Thursday's lost time, McKibbin was due out for his second round at 11.30 BST.

The seven leaders were a stroke ahead of Frenchmen Adrien Saddier and Dutchman Reinier Saxton, whose 66 included a double bogey at the 17th.

Michael Hoey is well placed to finally make the cut in the event at the fourth time of asking after an opening 68.

The five-time European Tour winner has struggled on the main tour this season and is only 194th in the Race to Dubai standings after a campaign which included a run of 11 missed cuts.

Hoey's 68 was matched by Whitehead amateur John Ross Galbraith, while 2015 Walker Cup Gary Hurley was a shot better after a 67 with Northern Irish trio Dermot McElroy, Jonathan Caldwell and Simon Thornton all well placed after 70s.

Northern Ireland Open leaderboard.