Adrian Meronk Secures DS Automobiles Italian Open In Thrilling Finish
There was a thrilling climax to the DS Automobiles Italian Open on Sunday, with Poland's Adrian Meronk finding two birdies at his final three holes to pick up a third DP World Tour title and send out a message to European Ryder Cup captain, Luke Donald.
Beginning the day, it was Frenchman, Julien Guerrier, who led the way, with Romain Langasque and Meronk just behind. Out the blocks, it was Meronk, the lowest ranked player in the tournament, who took the early initiative as he birdied three holes over his front nine.
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At the halfway stage, the 29-year-old found himself top of the leaderboard with Langasque, Guerrier and Tapio Pulkkanen all chasing him down. It was set up to be an enthralling finish and, as the back nine ebbed and flowed, Langasque soon shared the lead with Meronk.
That didn't last long though as, at the 16th hole, Meronk found the front edge of the green with his tee shot and, after rolling his putt up to near gimme range, he tapped in to lead by one with just two holes remaining.
Playing a couple of groups in front of Langasque, Meronk would set a target for the Frenchman. After safely navigating the 17th, he would find a crucial birdie at the par 5 18th for a 13-under-par tournament total, and a margin which would mean Langasque would need an eagle at the 18th to force a playoff.
Thankfully, for Meronk, Langasque was unable to capitalise on the 600-yard hole, with a final birdie meaning he came up just one shot shy of the 29-year-old, who picked up a third DP World Tour title and a move inside the Top 50 of the World Rankings.