McKibbin secures Open place despite play-off loss in Italy

Tom McKibbin qualified for his first Open Championship despite losing a play-off to Marcel Siem at the Italian Open.

The 21-year-old, from Holywood in Northern Ireland, will be in the field at Royal Troon next month having made his major debut at the US Open two weeks ago.

At the Adriatic Golf Club Cervia, McKibbin had made the cut on the number, and started Sunday six shots behind the leaders, but a six-under-par 65 in his final round saw him reach 10 under and set the clubhouse lead.

That did not initially look enough to be in contention, especially when Siem and Antoine Rozner both reached 13 under.

However, the leaders faltered down the stretch and, three hours after he had finished his round, McKibbin was in line for victory as the final pair reached the 18th hole.

But Siem holed a putt from 22 feet on the last to force the play-off and the 43-year-old German then birdied the same hole to secure victory.

As well as his spot at the Open, McKibbin's second place finish also lifted him from 20th to eighth in the Race to Dubai rankings.