Gulf News caught up with Dubai-based resident Adrian Meronk on his travels to play in this week’s KLM Open on the DP World Tour as he approaches his 30th birthday next week
Gulf News: Adrian, how do you feel your season has gone so far?
Meronk: I currently stand in fourth place in the Race to Dubai Rankings. I am pleased with my game. I have had three victories on the DP World Tour in the last ten months: the Horizon Irish Open last July, the ISPS Handa Australian Open in December and the DS Automobiles Italian Open earlier this month. I think I am the only one to have done this on the DP World Tour – which I am very proud of. Today, I am number 47 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). I did not move after last week’s tied 40th in the PGA Championship in New York. The OWGR is a tough animal to make any progress these days – but it is not for the lack of me trying!
Finally, looking at the many statistics around the game, I am currently fifth in the Ryder Cup European Team Points Table and 10th in the World Points Table.
Statistics and Rankings are what golf is about these days, especially for playing opportunities – I am one of the privileged few golfers to have invites for all four Majors in 2023.
As a golfer you cannot get too stressed with Rankings and all related stuff. My mantra is to work hard, play my best, try on every shot and the rest will take care of its self.
Gulf News: How did you enjoy the recent PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club?
Meronk: I am enjoying my visits to the US more and more each time. I am feeling very comfortable around the top players. My challenge is that I am playing these venues and golf courses for the first time. Others have played these courses many many times before.
I was fortunate to partner Luke Donald, our Ryder Cup Europe Team Captain in the first two rounds in Rochester, New York, which was fun. I do hope he was impressed with my golf?
Looking at my cards for my four rounds of 75. 69. 74. 68 to finish in tied 40th and winning €43,545.66, it made interesting reading.
I made 18 birdies all week over the 72 holes, whereas the PGA Champion Brooks Koepka had only 17.
Sadly, I also had four doubles. It just proves to myself that on tough courses, which I like, I can mix it with the best. I just need to eliminate the errors and a bad hole is only a bogey on the card.
I was ranked seventh in Overall Driving stats for the week, 30th in Tee to Green and 60th in Putting. Still a lot of work to be done – but I feel I am trending in the right direction – especially over such a challenging layout, that gave us frost, rain and winds over the four days.
Gulf News: Have your targets for the season changed at all?
Meronk: Nope! My 2023 targets remain to make the top 10 in the Race to Dubai Rankings to get my 2024 playing privileges on the PGA Tour plus make the European Team in the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone G&CC in Rome, September 25th – October 1st.
I am determined to play my way in to the European Team and no one ever wants to rely on an invite. The last Qualifying Tournament is the Omega European Masters which concludes on 3rd September – just 102 days away – it will be soon upon us.
Gulf News: What is your schedule over the next few weeks?
Meronk: This week I play in the $2 million KLM Open.
Then off to North America for the RBC Canadian Open June 8th – 11th thanks to a precious invite secured by my Dubai based manager Richard Rayment and then the third Major of the year, the US Open. I then return to Europe for the BMW International Open in Munich followed by the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry. I will then skip the Denmark tournament and then play two huge weeks: the co-sanctioned Renaissance Scottish Open with the PGA Tour and The Open at Royal Liverpool.
This will be an exhausting few weeks, both physically and mentally with a lot of air miles to my name.
I have also declined some invite opportunities on the PGA Tour arranged by my manager, which have been flattering – because the DP World Tour is still important for me.
I will then review where I am in all the Ranking tables and plan the second half of my 2023 season.
Gulf News: How are you enjoying your winters in Dubai?
Meronk: Dubai is certainly the best place for me to winter. The weather, golf facilities and the hospitality and friendliness of all the communities, especially the golfing scene, as well as location for global travel are second to none. I primarily practice at Jumeirah Golf Estates which I have always thought is a very special golf club.
I am also beginning to understand the importance of Dubai and the UAE to the DP World Tour. So many DP World Tour sponsors are aligned with Dubai: DP World, Emirates, BMW AGMC, Dubai Duty Free, Government of Dubai etc – which is very special for me.
In South Korea a few weeks ago, I played with a DP World Team of guests in the tournament Pro-Am and I enjoyed their company. DP World’s support of the Tour is nothing short of exceptional and a big thank you to all at DP World and especially Danny Van Otterdijk, Chief Communications Officer, for their unstinting commitment. Their investment has made a huge difference to our Tour at all levels.