Tom McKibbin: Northern Ireland teenager secures place in final round of Open qualifying
Northern Ireland teenager Tom McKibbin booked a place in the final round of Open qualifying but world snooker champion Shaun Murphy is out.
McKibbin, 16, shot a four-under par 68 in the regional qualifying event at County Louth to hold a share of fourth, two shots behind leader Dylan Keating.
Murphy's bid to compete at Royal Portrush ended with a 12-over par 84.
The top 13 finishers advance to the last round of Open qualifying in July when the final 12 places are on offer.
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"Portrush has definitely has been a massive goal for me all year and hopefully today was one step closer to that," said McKibbin, who is hoping to join his compatriots Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke in the field for the 2019 Open.
The Irish international, who could also secure an invite to Portrush if he wins the European Amateur Championship in Austria this week, was competing in just his second tournament since completing his GCSE exams.
"I haven't been playing a lot lately and to get back and shoot a score like that is very satisfying," McKibbin added.
"The final qualifying round should be a good experience anyway but I'll just have to go and try and play my best, that's all I can do, and hope that it is good enough."