Adrian Meronk became the first player from Poland to win on the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, after securing an historic three-stroke victory at the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet.
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 after closing with a superb 64.
Meronk found that magic emphatically as he birdied the 15th and 16th 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 in 2019, helping him graduate from the Challenge Tour and become the first Polish player to earn full DP World Tour playing privileges.
Meronk said: “It’s such a relief, to be honest. I’ve been quite close a couple of times this year, so to finally get over the line is just a dream come true. That’s why we practise every day. It’s such a relief and I’m so happy. I’m excited about what I achieved it here in Ireland, and I’m hoping it will play a part in helping to grow the game back in Poland.”
Ryan 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.