Adrian Meronk became the first player from Poland to win on the DP World Tour after securing an historic three-stroke victory at the Horizon Irish Open.
The 29-year-old led heading into the final round but was required to conjure some back nine magic to overhaul clubhouse leader Ryan Fox, who had set the target at 17 under par following an eight under par 64 to close.
Meronk, a 2019 European Challenge Tour graduate, found that magic emphatically as he birdied the 15th and 16th at Mount Juliet Estate before rolling in a 24-foot eagle putt at the par five 17th to reach 20 under par, allowing him to enjoy the walk down the 18th fairway to rapturous applause from the sold-out crowd and put the finishing touches to a six under 66.
The Pole’s victory is the latest in a long list of historic moments, after previously becoming the first player from Poland to win on a major golf tour with his triumph at the Open de Portugal @ Morgado Golf Resort in 2019, helping him graduate from the Challenge Tour and become the first Polish player to earn full DP World Tour playing privileges.
Fox continued his incredible run of recent form by finishing second – his third runner-up finish of the season, on top of a victory at February’s Ras Al Khaimah Classic – while South African Thriston Lawrence, also a winner this season at the Joburg Open, was a shot further back in third.
Meronk was not the only man celebrating in County Kilkenny, as the American 2020 Irish Open winner John Catlin, Scotland’s David Law and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti booked their places in The 150th Open at St Andrews, as the leading three players not already exempt, the trio finishing in a tie for fourth.
Spain’s Jorge Campillo finished seventh on 14 under par, Thorbjørn Olesen was a shot further back in eighth, while 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry finished as the leading Irish player in a tie for ninth on 12 under par.
There were a further three birdies on the 18th hole, bringing the total for the week to 37 and raising €18,500 for Make-A-Wish® Ireland through the Birdies for Wishes initiative.
Adrian Meronk: “Such a relief to be honest. As you said, I’ve been coming quite close a couple of times this year, and to finally open the door, it’s just a dream come true. That’s why we practise every day, and such a relief and so happy.
“I love it. I’m not stopping. I’m going to keep going forward. It’s another step for me. And I’m excited I achieved it here in Ireland, such a great history, and I’m just super excited. I can’t describe it.
“To be honest I was imagining this picture yesterday, what it might look like, you know. Looked exactly like how you math inned it. I was just trying to enjoy this moment. It was an unbelievable feeling and to hit such a good shot on the last hole, I’m super proud of myself and my caddie, and yeah, super happy.
“It means a lot. As I said before, it’s one of my roles to grow the game, hopefully this will help a lot and I’ll just keep going and yeah, hopefully there will be a lot of new people to the game.”