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Tom McKibbin earns Open debut in Italy

Tom McKibbin earns Open debut in Italy

Tom McKibbin will make his Open Championship debut next month after finishing second at the Italian Open presented by Regione Emilia-Romagna.

Tom McKibbin

The Northern Irishman teed off three hours before the final group at Adriatic Golf Club Cervia and even after setting the clubhouse target with a bogey-free 65, he admitted he was not thinking of lifting the trophy.

Caddie David McNeilly had even left the course but when Marcel Siem bogeyed the 17th, McKibbin had a one-shot lead and was staring at a second DP World Tour win.

German Siem then carded a brilliant 22-foot clutch putt for birdie on the 18th and won the play-off on the first trip back up the last but McKibbin was left with a place at Troon alongside American Sean Crocker as the two highest finishers not already exempt.

McKibbin is up to eighth on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex having missed just one cut all season when he was ill in Singapore, and now continues his remarkable 2024 having made his Major debut just weeks ago at the U.S. Open.

"I'm very excited," he said. "I'm thrilled.

"I got a taste of what the U.S. Open was like a couple of weeks ago so I'm looking forward to going to Troon.

"I've never played it but I went to one of the practice rounds there the last time it was played. I can't remember anything about it but I've been."

Crocker finished a shot behind McKibbin and Siem at nine under alongside Jannik de Bruyn after a closing 68, edging out the German for a place in The Open on virtue of Official World Golf Ranking.

The 27-year-old will be playing his second Open and third Major having finished in a tie for 47th in 2018 at Carnoustie.

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