Hamburg (Germany), June 5 (IANS) Tom McKibbin held his nerve in Hamburg as he claimed his first DP World Tour title with a two-stroke victory at the Porsche European Open.
The Northern Irishman, just 20 years of age, produced a display of maturity beyond his years as he battled home favourites, Max Kieffer and Marcel Siem, for the title at Green Eagle Golf Courses as they were bidding to end a 15-year wait for the next German winner on home soil.
India’s lone entrant Manu Gandas had missed the halfway cut.
The trio shared the lead at one stage on the back nine, but McKibbin, who made the turn three under par, recovered from dropped shots on the 11th and 13th holes with a birdie on the 15th to move clear on eight under par.
Kieffer narrowly missed an eagle putt on the 18th which would have taken him to eight under, settling for a seven under par total. Siem joined him on that number with a birdie of his own on the 72nd hole, as did Frenchman Julien Guerrier who also shared second place.
McKibbin, who earned his card for 2023 after graduating from the European Challenge Tour, hit his drive on the 18th just right of the fairway, but then hit a nerveless five iron into the heart of the green, two-putting for birdie, a three-under round of 70 and a nine under par total.
He joins Holywood Golf Club Coursemate Rory McIlroy as a winner on the 2023 Race to Dubai after the four-time Major Champion’s triumph at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January.
Tournament title sponsor Porsche donated €120,000 to charities supporting Ukrainian aid projects in Hamburg as part of their Birdies for Charity initiative. In keeping with the sports car manufacturer’s 75th anniversary, €75 was donated for every birdie recorded across the four rounds.