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Tom McKibbin full of confidence after Major debut at U.S. Open

Tom McKibbin full of confidence after Major debut at U.S. Open

Tom McKibbin is relishing the chance to take the experience from his Major Championship debut into the rest of the season after playing the final round at the 124th U.S. Open in the company of World Number One Scottie Scheffler.

The Northern Irishman arrived at Walton Heath for Qualifying last month off the back of three top tens in six starts and recorded another in his last event before crossing the Atlantic, mounting an excellent defence of his title at the European Open.

An opening 74 put him on the back foot at the notoriously difficult No. 2 Course at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club but he holed a 16-foot putt on the 18th in a second-round 71 to make the cut on the number and followed that with another 71 to set up a pairing with Masters Tournament champion Scheffler.

Sitting 25th on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex when he arrived in North Carolina, he will tee it up in the Netherlands and Italy over the next two weeks now knowing he can mix it with the very best.

“Obviously the best players in the world are here so to be able to play four rounds gives me a lot of confidence going back for the summer because I think these events really test your game," he said after carding a closing 72. “They’re the toughest of challenges.

“It was good to play all four rounds and to shoot four decent scores was really good. I enjoyed it a lot.

“To hole that putt on the last (in round two) meant the world to me and then to play two more rounds it was pretty cool just to experience the golf course over the weekend.”

McKibbin and Scheffler

Asked about playing with Scheffler, McKibbin added: “It was amazing.

“It was a great experience to play with the guy that’s been the best in the world for the last couple of years and to play alongside him and get an up close look at it was pretty cool. It was awesome.

“There was a good lot of chat, he’s probably one of the nicest guys I’ve played with; a lot of chit-chat going around and it was really good."

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