Poland is not known for its rich golf history, but Adrian Meronk is doing his best to change that.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old took an important step in that conquest as he won the DP World Tour’s Irish Open. With the win, he becomes the first player of Polish descent to win on Europe’s premier golf tour.
“It means a lot,” Meronk said of his place in his country’s golf history. “As I said before, it’s one of my [goals] 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.”
Meronk shot a final-round 66 to earn the victory, finishing the week with four rounds in the 60s. He held off a charging Ryan Fox, who shot the low round of the day with an eight-under 64, by posting his lowest round of the week to earn the three-shot win.
The win moves Meronk to a career-best 64th in the Official World Golf Ranking, and puts him inside the top 10 in the season-long Race to Dubai.
“[It’s] such a relief, to be honest,” he said. “To close it off in Ireland in the Irish Open in such a special event on the schedule, it’s really special for me and I’m very excited.”
Meronk had been close in recent weeks to notching his first victory on the DP World Tour, registering four top-six finishes in his previous six starts, but Sunday was the first time he got across the finish line in the top spot.
“I had a good feeling about this week,” he said. “Especially coming after a break, obviously a couple of close finishes this year, and so I had this experience coming into Sunday. So I just focused on my game of staying patient, and it finally paid off.”
Now that the first-win monkey is off Meronk’s back, he has his sights on achieving another first for his home country — becoming the first Pole to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup.
“Definitely that’s somewhere in my mind as well,” he said. “Yeah, that will be one of the goals.”
If he can deliver a few more performances like he did in Ireland, it’s certainly possible.
For now though, Meronk is content with soaking in the victory, and relishing in his special place in Polish golf history.
“To finally open the door, it’s a dream come true,” he said. “This is what I practice for every day. I’m super happy.”