Meronk seals historic first for Poland at Irish Open as Dudek sends congratulations
Adrian Meronk became Poland's first winner on the European/DP World Tour after he emerged victorious at the Irish Open on Sunday.
Meronk ultimately ended the tournament at the Mount Juliet Estate with a healthy three-shot cushion on 20 under, but that does not tell the whole story.
Although he started the final day with a one-shot lead, he was one off the top of the leaderboard heading into his final five holes.
Ryan Fox carded a wonderful eight-under 64 to put himself in the driving seat, reaching the clubhouse on 17 under for the tournament.
But Meronk came on strong in the latter stages, with unlikely birdie putts coming off on the 15th and 16th to put him back at the summit, and an even more surprising eagle on the penultimate hole sealed it.
"It's such a relief to be honest," Meronk said. "I've been coming quite close a couple of times this year, and to finally open the door, it's just a dream come true. That's why we practise every day – such a relief and so happy.
"I'm going to keep going forward. It's another step for me. And I'm excited I achieved it here in Ireland, such a great history, and I'm just super excited. I can't describe it.
"It was an unbelievable feeling and to hit such a good shot on the last hole, I'm super proud of myself and my caddie, and yes, super happy."
Meronk's success also captured the attention of another famous Polish sportsman.
Former Poland and Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek sent Meronk a personal video message saluting his historic triumph.
"Adrian, congratulations," Dudek began.
"You were waiting for that moment so many years. That's a first Pole on the podium in this beautiful sport.
"You are a legend of this game. We're very proud of you. Enjoy every single moment. All the best, come on!"