Adrian Meronk
Dubai-based Adrian Meronk, in action in Dubai on a recent visit. Image Credit: Supplied

Thursday will be the first round of the $6 million Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet Estate. I have had a much-needed couple of weeks off the Tour, back home in Poland, to recharge the batteries as we now approach arguably three of the biggest weeks of the season — this week’s Horizon Irish Open, next week’s Genesis Scottish Open, a Rolex Series event, and then The 150th Open at St Andrews, Scotland.

The first-round draw has been published and I am teeing off in Match 32 from the first tee at 1.20pm Ireland time, alongside England’s Aaron Rai and Pablo Larrazabal of Spain.

Hard-woking and dedicated player

Aaron, like myself, graduated through the Challenge Tour and has won twice on the European Tour, in Hong Kong and more recently at the 2020 Scottish Open, beating Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off. He also has his PGA Tour status so he is one of those fortunate players that have graduated up the hierarchy of golf in a very short period of time. He is a very hard working and dedicated player.

Pablo Larrazabal, a two-time winner on Tour this year, and currently eighth in the DP World Tour Rankings is one of the form players this season.

The golf course measures 7,264 yards, par 72 this week and the weather forecast does not look too good with rain expected every day, Friday looking the worst. Fingers crossed they have got it all wrong. I will need to pack my waterproofs and umbrella and my caddie needs to keep everything out of the rain with some additional dry towels! These weeks are when the caddies earn their money!

The wind is projected to be 10—20mph most of the week. Looking at the history of Mount Juliet Estate, it has hosted the Irish Open four times; in 1993, 94, 95 and last year in 2021.

Taking all the spoils

Looking at the champions it sure looks like it rewards good ball strikers, with Sir Nick Faldo (England), Bernhard Langer (Germany), Sam Torrance (Scotland) and Australia’s Lucas Herbert taking all the spoils and glory respectively.

Mount Juliet Estate also hosted the 2002 WGC-American Express Championship won by Tiger Woods with an impressive 25 under par score, the 34th victory for the then 26 year-old. A 19 under par score for the four rounds was the winning score in 2021.

Let’s see how we all do this week?

One shot at a time

I personally want to look back on these three forthcoming weeks with satisfaction. However, I need to not get too carried away at any time during the next 12 rounds, either up or down, it is like the old cliche, ‘one shot at a time’ and the rest will take care of itself.

The 2022 Horizon Irish Open will be broadcast by Dubai TV at 5pm (local UAE time) on all four days.

— Adrian Meronk is a 29 year-old Dubai resident, born in Germany with Polish nationality and plays on the DP World Tour. He played in the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy, representing Poland, and then turned Pro. He won the 2019 Open de Portugal on the Challenge Tour and finished 5th in the Challenge Tour Order of Merit Rankings to gain his full playing privileges on the DP World Tour. He currently lies 12th in the 2021 — 2022 DP World Tour Rankings. Adrian is an Ambassador for Whiteagle, who are based in Dubai and organise golf events.