Northern Ireland Open: McKibbin misses Galgorm cut

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 added a creditable second-round 76 to his opening 80 as he missed the Northern Ireland Open cut at Galgorm Castle.

McKibbin, playing in his first pro event, was two under after seven but five bogeys and a final-hole double bogey gave him a five-over-par round.

"Apart from the last, I was very happy with how I played," said last year's World Under-12 champion.

Michael Hoey is six under after 15, three behind the leader Wil Besserling.

Tournament ambassador Hoey, who has missed the cut over the last three years, is among over 50 players who will have to finish their second rounds on Saturday morning following Thursday's weather delays.

Along with three retirements, only Czech player Daniel Suchan and Ireland's Richard Bridges finished behind McKibbin but the teenager could still reflect on a memorable week.

"I don't mind people watching though it feels weird when lots of people clap. I'm sure I will get used to it," added the schoolboy.

Horan invite

McKibbin was invited to play in the European Challenge Tour event by the golf management company owned by One Direction star Niall Horan.

Dutchman Besserling, whose sole Challenge Tour win came in Colombia in 2008, carded a 65 which left him a stroke ahead of New Zealander Ryan Fox, the son of All Blacks rugby great Grant Fox and England's Paul Maddy.

Defending champion Frenchman Clement Sordet made a significant move with a bogey-free 64 which left him two off the pace alongside Germany's Dominic Foos and South African Dylan Frittelli.

Hoey is sharing the leading Irishman's position with Glasson professional Colm Moriarty (66), Damien McGrane (71) and West Waterford's Gary Hurley (69), who all completed their rounds.

Chris Selfridge is three under after 15 while other Ulster men Jonathan Caldwell, Cormac Sharvin and Colm Campbell all look certain to survive after finishing on one under.

However, Ballymena man Dermot McElroy, in his first professional outing, appears likely to miss out by one after a 72 left him on level par.

Derryman Ruaidhri McGee also finished on level par as did 2013 Galgorm winner Dutchman Daan Huizing while Whitehead amateur John Ross Galbraith is certain to miss the cut after slumping to a 77 following his impressive opening 68.