Never meet your idols, as the saying goes. Try telling that to Adrien Myronk.
At the Open Championships in July, the Polish golfer tracked down tiger wood to get a picture. Twenty-four hours later, he was chatting away with the main hero 15 times for nine holes in Legendary Old St Andrews Stadium.
The fact that Meronke was in the same tournament as his childhood hero is in itself a tight moment. Just two weeks ago at the Irish Open, the 29-year-old had made history as the first Pole to win the DP World Tourand stamped his first ticket to the 150th edition of the pioneer.
Spotting Woods on the golf course on Monday, Meronke was convinced of his photo opportunity, thinking another opportunity was unlikely once the competition started on Thursday.
Imagine his shock then, as he walked to the tenth tee for his practice round at 8:45 a.m. the next morning, seeing no one but Woods alone, preparing for his opening drive. After being asked if it was a good idea to join in, Meronke spent the rest of the morning alongside the Kings of Golf.
“This was probably one of my childhood dreams, so I got a lot of messages from my house and that was very exciting for me,” Meronke told CNN reporter Jasmine Sanders, AKA The Jazzy Golfer.
“I picked his brain a little bit. He was very nice to me, and he was talkative too, so I was very surprised.”
What will you ask your idol? For Meronke, it was important to start with competition tips, especially since Woods is a two-time St Andrews champion.
With the World Open likely not returning to St Andrews until 2030, speculation has been swirling that the 150th edition will be Woods’ last on the Scottish court, especially given his physical struggles.
The 46-year-old made a Fantastic comeback Returning to the sport after injuries sustained in a car crash in 2021, with a return to St Andrews his main focus during the grueling recovery process.
“I started with some advice on the course, some lines and things like that,” Meronke recalls. “Some tips on how to handle the situation when it’s really windy.
“Then he was telling me about his first championship in St Andrews, because he asked me if it was my first.
“I asked him how he was feeling, how his health was and things like that, just casual stuff. He was very open.”
The golfer’s legendary tournament ended with animated scenes on Friday, after he missed the mowing, a He was rich and Woods was crying Down the 18th aisle next to a soaring crowd of St Andrews. For Meronke, it was a fitting applause for the greatest of times ever.
“He’s probably been the idol for most of the guys here and we still have to be honest,” he said. “With what he has achieved, I would say he is definitely the best in our sport.”
Unlike Woods, Morenk’s time at St Andrews has come a long way. After enduring a horrific nightmare from three to 75 starts, the Pole was back with an impressive 68 to reach the weekend, with two strong rounds of 70 and 69 seeing him score a solid 42nd in his Open Championship debut.
It was the latest event of a stellar season for Meronck, and his best on the DP World Tour since he turned pro in 2016. After finishing third in second place among a series of top ten spots, the Pole definitively put his near misses to rest. By winning by three bullets in Kilkenny, Ireland.
“Winning the DP World Tour has always been my goal, and it has always been a dream,” said Meronke. “To be able to do it in Ireland, at the Irish Open, in such a historic event, was a very, very good feeling for me.
“I’ve had a great season this year, I’ve been very close to it a few times, so I was also relieved that I finally got it done.”
In addition to writing the winner’s earnings check of more than 974,000 euros ($947,690), the victory also penned Mironke into the history books as the first-ever Tour champion from Poland, a country not known for its golf prowess.
It is a relief that Poland’s best golfer is ranked 64 in the world, the best golfer for Mironc is Mateusz Grädecky at 341. After that, there is currently no Polish golfer inside the top 2,700.
“she did [feel historic]Myronk said. “More and more people are following me in Poland but also all over the world. There are a lot of Poles everywhere.
“There were a lot of Poles in the crowd congratulating me and I got a lot of messages from my country, so that was really exciting and also motivating me to move on.”
At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Meronk uses longer rackets and has different reclining angles to accommodate his towering chassis. To balance his natural flexion on the ball, Meronke repeats a rigorous posture exercise five times before each session. While his longer levers allow him to drive the ball for greater distances, his height is believed to be a trade-off in the short game.
“Maybe I will have to catch other guys neatly,” he said.
“I have to work on it a little more, especially in terms of the green and short game. So there are drawbacks as well, but I think I can hit a little more with the longer levers for sure.”