Adrian Meronk sees his golf horizon expand with superb success at the Irish Open – The Irish Times

The truth is that the final round of a tournament has more heartbreak than joy. For most, it’s a litany of unfulfilled dreams. Only one can win. In this reinvigorated edition of the Horizon Irish Open which took place in front of sold-out crowds, the spoils of victory went to Adrian Meronk – Poland’s first European Tour winner – who produced a scintillating streak of birdie-birdie-eagle from the 15th hole to close the deal and create his own piece of history.

Meronk, a Pole of German descent, and deliberately wearing green and white shoes for a bit of luck, signed for a 66 to finish on a 268-under par for the 72 holes, three strokes ahead of the New Zealander Ryan Fox, who finished his championship with a second round of 64. The impressive decisive victory earned Meronk a salary of €974,605 ​​and his name was added to the Waterford Crystal trophy which was engraved with predecessors legendary. It also propelled him to 63rd in the world rankings.

No cigars, so to speak, for the Irish contingent. But each of the quartets that survived the weekend fare left with positive vibes going forward, three of them initially at the JP McManus Pro-Am, but with their sights set further on the historic 150th Open of next week in St Andrews.

Shane Lowry finished with a 67 for 276, earning him a top-10 berth; Pádraig Harrington started off like a train, with birdies on his first five holes, only to have thoughts of a sabotaged under-60 with a double bogey on the 10th as he finally signed for a 69 for 281, tied 31st, where he was later joined by Séamus Power, who had a 68. Niall Kearney, feeding off a few opportunities on tour, finished with a 70 for 284 in tied 58th.

For Lowry, that extended beyond golf. He had packed an Offaly shirt in his bag in the hopes of putting it on while walking up the 18th fairway to celebrate his county’s victory in the All-Ireland Minor Final. It had looked like the gesture would be necessary, until a thumbs-down sign from his brother Alan, positioned near the 17th tee, confirmed the young pitchers had fallen to their deaths.

“It’s devastating for these young people. Listen, it’s sport, isn’t it? I’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of results and if you take the positive out of it, you’ll be fine,” Lowry said.

On the golf front, however, Lowry had a lot to take away. He had salvaged a potentially lost weekend by missing his final four holes on Friday, and brought that momentum to the weekend for the rounds of 68 and 67 that propelled him to a share of ninth place.

“If I hadn’t nailed those four birdies then I would be looking for something this week, even if I don’t need it… all I wanted to do was get out there and find some good form and play some good golf and bring some confidence to St Andrews. And I really felt like I had it. I hit the ball pretty much for the last 36 holes where I wanted most of the time,” said Lowry, who plans to take advantage of the JP McManus Pro-Am experience before changing his thoughts to links golf, with practice rounds at Portmarnock and Baltray. in the paper for later this week before heading to the Scottish east coast.

Harrington stunned the morning crowds with anticipation after a stunning start to five straight birdies. He even had a thought of 59 swirling around in his head, until tree trouble with his approach of 10 ruined those notions and delivering a 99 ice cream to at least 14 brought him some solace on the course.

“I was much better on the greens this week than last week. [when winning the US Seniors Open]. I had the ball rolling well, no tension. I see very positive things in putting. Maybe my future career will have good weeks and bad weeks,” Harrington said.

Power, who will make his St Andrews Open debut, is also at Adare Manor but then plans to golf later in the week and play at Royal County Down en route to catching the ferry to Scotland from Belfast .

“You don’t forget how to hit low kicks and take spin offs, that sort of thing. But obviously the conditions, no matter how good you can be on the links, if the conditions turn against you, that can be really tough, so it’s all about preparing as best you can this week, or at the end of this week, going for some good practice rounds,” Power said.

Three players – David Law, John Catlin and Fabrizio Zanotti – secured their tickets to St Andrews with their fourth place tied.

Meronk, already bye for the Open, was hugely impressive in a final round that featured an eagle, 17, to go along with five birdies and a bogey in his round of 66, with all four rounds in the 60s. “I knew I had a three shot lead, but playing 18, probably the toughest hole on the course, I was still super focused on my targets trying to get a few good swings. As soon as my ball landed on the green after the second shot, I knew that was it. He was such a relief.

“[The win] is another step to take. My goals are quite high. I usually aim pretty high, so that’s a big step up. I’m super excited for what’s to come and I’m going to focus on the next two weeks which are pretty important to me as well.

Final ranking

Irish and British unless otherwise specified, per 72

268 Adrien Meronk (Poland) 67 67 68 66

271 Ryan Fox (Nzl) 64 73 70 64

272 Thriston Lawrence (Rsa) 66 72 67 67

273 John Catlin (USA) 67 72 65 69, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 65 69 69 70, David Law 67 69 70 67

274 Jorge Campillo (Spain) 65 68 70 71

275 Thorbjoern Olesen (Lair) 70 69 70 66

276 Shane Lowry 71 70 68 67, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 68 68 71, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 67 72 65 72, Aaron Rai 66 70 70 70

277 Antoine Rozner (fra) 66 75 65 71, Robert MacIntyre 68 73 67 69, James Morrison 69 68 69 71

278 Matthew Southgate 71 68 67 72, Dale Whitnell 66 74 66 72, Santiago Tarrio (Spain) 71 68 72 67, Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 68 71 72 67

279 Alexander Bjoerk (Sweden) 67 72 70 70, Jamie Donaldson 69 69 72 69, Justin Walters (Rsa) 70 71 69 69, Marcel Schneider (Ger) 65 73 72 69

280 Johannes Veerman (USA) 72 70 69 69, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 75 67 67 71, Jordan Smith 66 73 72 69, Matthew Jordan 71 71 68 70, Callum Shinkwin 68 74 68 70, Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (Esp) 71 71 69 69

281 Sami Valimaki (Finland) 68 73 74 66, Padraig Harrington 70 71 71 69, Power Seamus 68 68 77 68, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 67 74 71 69, Romain Langasque (Fra) 68 70 74 69, Matthias Schmid (Ger) 70 68 69 74, Julien Brun (Fra) 72 68 70 71

282 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 73 67 69 73, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 67 70 75 70, Marcus Armitage 73 69 71 69, Richie Ramsay 69 72 70 71, Jack Senior 69 67 67 79, Sebastian Garcia (Esp) 69 71 70 72 , Frederic Lacroix (Fra) 65 71 73 73, Marcel Siem (Germany) 68 70 73 71, Hurly Long (Germany) 73 69 70 70

283 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 69 72 71 71, Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 66 73 70 74, Sebastian Soederberg (Sweden) 70 66 73 74, Sean Crocker (USA) 69 71 71 72, Joakim Lagergren (Sweden) 70 71 71 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 68 68 73 74, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 71 70 73 69, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 73 67 70 73, Marcus Helligkilde (Den) 68 71 76 68, Hugo Leon (Chi) 73 68 68 74, Oliver Farr 67 73 72 71, Lorenzo Gagli (Italy) 75 67 75 66

284 Min-Woo Lee (Australia) 72 70 71 71, Stephen Gallacher 72 69 72 71, Scott Hend (Australia) 72 70 71 71, Niall Kearney 68 74 72 70, Thomas Detry (Bel) 72 69 73 70, Wil Besseling (Ned) 69 71 73 71, Yannik Paul (Ger) 71 71 71 71, Niklas Noergaard Moeller (Den) 69 72 72 71, Renato Paratore (Ita ) 70 70 74 70

285 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 70 71 73 71, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 71 69 75 70, Alvaro Quiros (Spain) 69 70 73 73

286 Rikard Karlberg (Sweden) 69 69 70 78, Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 69 72 73 72, Oliver Wilson 68 74 74 70

288 Tapio Pulkkanen (Finland) 72 70 74 72

289 Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den) 70 72 70 77, Marc Warren 69 70 76 74

290 Andy Sullivan 67 72 73 78, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 67 73 76 74

292 Kazuki Higa (Japan) 69 70 78 75

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