From childhood hero to playing partner, Adrian Meronk's fairytale Open meeting with Tiger Woods

Published Thu, Oct 20, 2022 2:01 AM
Adrian Meronk greets Tiger Woods during a practice round prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews, Scotland in July, 2022.

At the Open Championship in July, the Polish golfer tracked down Tiger Woods for a photo. Twenty-four hours later, he was chatting away with the 15-time major champion for nine holes of the legendary St. Andrews Old Course. The fact Meronk was even at the same tournament as his childhood hero was itself a pinch-me moment. Just two weeks prior at the Irish Open, the 29-year-old had made history as the first Pole to win on the DP World Tour, stamping his maiden ticket to the 150th edition of the major.

Meronk and Woods pose for a photo during their practice round.

Tiger talk What would you ask your idol? For Meronk, it was important to begin with competition advice, especially as Woods is a two-time Open champion at St. Andrews. With the Open potentially not returning to St. Andrews until 2030, speculation had been swirling that the 150th edition would be Woods’ last at the Scottish venue, especially given his physical struggles. The 46-year-old had made a remarkable comeback to the sport following injuries sustained in a car accident in 2021, with returning to St. Andrews his main focus during a punishing recovery process. “I started with some advice on the course, some lines and stuff like that,” Meronk recalled. “Some advice on how to deal with putting when it’s really windy. “Then he was telling me about his first Open at St. Andrews, because he asked me if that was my first Open. “I asked him how he was feeling, how is his health and stuff like that, just casual stuff. He was very open.”