DP World Tour: 'Next Rory McIlroy' Tom McKibbin grabs early one-shot lead at Singapore Classic
Tom McKibbin leads ahead of Matthieu Pavon, Sami Valimaki, Joakim Lagergren and Simon Forsstrom in Singapore; Watch the second round of the Singapore Classic live on Friday from 5.30am on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 09/02/23 11:13am
Northern Ireland's Tom McKibbin holds a one-shot lead after a low-scoring opening round at the DP World Tour's Singapore Classic.
The 20-year-old, who hails from the same Holywood Golf Club where Rory McIlroy started his career, fired eight birdies in a blemish-free 64 to set the pace at Laguna National Golf Resort Club.
Beginning on the back nine, McKibbin picked up a shot at the 11th and took advantage of the par-five 13th before posting four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the par-five 18th.
- Singapore Classic: Latest leaderboard
- DP World Tour: Schedule and results
- Players discuss LIV arbitration hearing
Further birdies at the seventh and ninth closed out a blemish-free card and saw him set the clubhouse target at eight under, with Sami Valimaki and Matthieu Pavon in the group of four players a shot back in tied-second.
"I played solid golf, a bit of luck here and there," McKibbin said. "It hasn't been far away these last few weeks, so it was nice to see a round like that.
"I've played with Rory [McIlroy] quite a bit, I've been able to watch him and playing with him has been valuable for me to see where my game is at. It's been good for me to have some moments with him."
Who else impressed in Singapore?
Pavon also reached eight under after four birdies in five holes from the third, only to bogey his final hole of the day, while Valimaki made an eagle and five birdies in a seven-hole stretch before dropping a shot on his penultimate hole.
"Overall it was pretty good," Pavon said. "My only bogey was on the last, the ninth, but we knew it was a tough hole. I just missed my drive a little bit and was in trouble in the left trap. I tried to make a great four to finish, but it was a bad putt, a bad read. I made five but everything else was really, really good."
Swedish pair Joakim Lagergren and Simon Forsstrom both mixed eight birdies and a bogey so complete the quarter on seven under, while English duo Paul Waring and Nathan Kimsey are both within two of the early lead.
James Morrison fired a hole-in-one at the par-three fourth and was five under after seven holes before eventually posting a two-under 70, as Ryan Fox - the highest-ranked player in the field - recovered from a quadruple-bogey at the par-four 12th to salvage a level-par 72.
Robert MacIntyre double-bogeyed his final hole of the day to post a two-over 74, with Germany's Marcel Siem marking his 500th DP World Tour start by posting the same total.
Watch the DP World Tour's Singapore Classic throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday from 5.30am on Sky Sports Golf.