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Jan 6th, 2016
Meet the new Rory McIlroy
Introducing young Tom McKibbin
Words: The Brigadier
12- year old Tom McKibbin from Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland has just triumphed at the Junior Honda Classic in Florida. "It's really tough, I was playing against people who have won world titles," said Tom of his win.
Finishing on two under par to win by two strokes at Palm Beach Gardens, this is the second high-profile junior tournament victory for Tom, having won the World Kids Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina, in August.
Rory McIlroy congratulated Tom on Twitter. "Well done Tom. Great to see all your hard work paying off."
Tom had previously got the chance to practice with McIlroy in the Gulf.
"When I met Rory McIlroy in Dubai we were just chatting about golf tournaments and things like that. He told me to give him six years before I beat him," he said laughing.
After the main Honda Classic tournament, Tom will be invited back to walk out on the green with the senior winners.
"We have our fingers crossed it will be Rory or Graeme McDowell who win," said his father Robin.
Tom's success in Florida has had one downside, missing out on an invitation to attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in Belfast alongside McIlroy. But he has a nomination of his own now for the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards taking place in Belfast on January 25.