Meronk Thursday
Dubai-based Adrian Meronk (left), tied third after 36 holes, with his caddie Stuart Beck at this week's Dutch Open on the DP World Tour. Image Credit: Supplied

I shot my second successive 68, which leaves me in tied third at eight under par after 36 holes of the €1.75 million Dutch Open in the Netherlands on Thursday.

When I teed off on Thursday, I had already slipped to tied 14th (from 8th) and stood five shots (from 3 shots) off the leaders.

Leaderboards are often fluid, especially during the first two rounds. Leading is Ricardo Gouveia (Portugal) at 10-under par after a second round six under par 66. Gouveia won the 2015 NBO Golf Classic Grand Final on the Challenge Tour at Al Mouj Golf, Muscat in Oman, to also top the 2015 Challenge Tour Rankings.

Gouveia is one shot ahead of Haotong Li (China), winner of the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic.

Special round

What a round Li had — eight birdies, an eagle and he even found space for a bogey in his 63. This round by Li was three shots better than any player in the field on the day, which is very special indeed. Leader Gouevia was the only player to be six under and there were only three players with 67’s today (five under) — Matt Wallace (England, tied 3rd), Ryan Fox (NZ, tied 5th) and Lucas Nemecz (Austria), with Nemecz missing the cut by one shot.

Perhaps Li’s score is already candidate for one of the rounds of the 2021-2022 season. It was another solid round for myself, in pretty windy conditions in the afternoon.

Starting from the 1st tee I managed 7 birdies and three bogeys. My three dropped shots on holes 2, 10 and 13 all came from poor tee shots, the first two on par 4’s and the last one a par 3.

I am happy to go into the weekend where I stand on the leaderboard, just two behind the leader, with my game feeling pretty good. My flat stick was really good today and I made a couple of very nice birdie putts out there, especially on hole 1 with a 17 footer and hole 14 from over 23 feet.

Sensible effort

The greens are pretty tricky over the Bernardus Golf layout, and, with some of today’s pin positions, you needed to be a bit sensible, and dare I say it, even careful out there, otherwise an easy three putt will follow.

It’s especially nice to have my mother with me here this week.

My playing partners Jordan Smith (England) and Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) both shot second round 70s to both make the cut on six under and three under par respectively.

Making the cut

It is always fun when all three players in the group make the cut. The cut fell at level par 144 with 65 players playing over the weekend.

My third round tee time is at 1.40pm, the penultimate of the day, where I will be partnering Matt Wallace.

I am looking forward to the coming two days.

— Dubai-resident Adrian Meronk is a professional golfer from Poland on the DP World Tour who uses Dubai as his winter home. He is sponsored by Dubai based White Eagle, who organise golf events.