Tom McKibbin from Holywood Golf Club in Belfast and Naas Golf Club’s Robert Brazill picked up their respective Bridgestone Order of Merit trophies after stellar seasons rewarded them with top spots in the series.
Tom McKibbin winner of the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit pictured with Colm Conyngham Bridgestone Ireland
Brazill scooped the Bridgestone Order of Merit for 2019 and secured his spot on the Ireland team for the Home Internationals at Lahinch last September while McKibbin, 16, won the Peter McEvoy Trophy in April and made his second appearance at the Jacques Leglise Trophy in August before making his senior debut at Lahinch also.
Colm Conyngham, Marketing Manager and Public Relations Manager at Bridgestone said: “We would like to congratulate Rob and Tom on their wins and we hope they will continue to be successful in the coming years. Seeing such talent emerging reinforces our belief in shining a light on these amazing young golfers.”
Brazill, 22, pipped Galway’s Ronan Mullarney to the Order of Merit title by finishing 11th at the season-ending Mullingar Scratch Trophy in August.
Robert Brazill (Naas) winner of the Bridgestone Order of Merit
“I’m delighted,” said Brazill. “It’s been a very busy year so it’s nice to finish it off with a positive.”
Big hitting Brazill made his breakthrough last season with victory at the West of Ireland. Consistency has been the hallmark of his 2019 campaign, with a string of top-5 finishes. Fourth at the East of Ireland and a semi-finalist at the North of Ireland, Brazill reached the final of the AIG Irish Close in Ballybunion.
“It would have been great to pick up a championship during the year but to play consistently was brilliant,” he reflected.
When he lined out for Ireland at the Home Internationals in September at Lahinch, Brazill emulated three Naas clubmates: Jack Hume, Conor O’Rourke and Jonathan Yates.
And as the number one player on the domestic scene this term, he succeeds Alex Gleeson (Castle) as the Order of Merit champion.
“I wouldn’t have known what the Order of Merit was until Bridgestone got involved,” said Brazill. “Now everyone wants to get their name up there!’.
McKibbin, who topped the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit, enjoyed a busy season which featured appearances for Ireland at the European Boys Team Championship, where he was Ireland’s leading player in stroke play qualifying, and the Boys Home Internationals.
Further afield, McKibbin enjoyed success in the United States. A week after winning the McEvoy, he captured the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. Other notable performances included a sixth place finish on his debut at the Lytham Trophy in May.