Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
The Challenge Tour is the second tier of men’s professional golf in Europe. At the end of the season, the top 15 players on the Challenge Tour’s Order of Merit – now named The Road to Mallorca – earn direct promotion to the European Tour. The Tour has proved a great talent pool over the years with the likes of Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and current world number one Brooks Koepka earning their stripes there. Previous winners of the Challenge Tour’s Order of Merit include Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston (2014), Tommy Fleetwood (2011) and Edoardo Molinari (2009).
In August 2019, the 25-year-old Scot won the Northern Ireland Open in just his fifth start on the Challenge Tour. He then won two more titles, at the Euram Bank Open and the Made in Denmark Challenge. Currently ranked world number 114, he earned his European Tour card by finishing 2019 in second place on the Road to Mallorca standings to Italy‘s Francesco Laporta, who snatched top spot from him by winning the season-ending Grand Final at the Club de Golf Alcanada in Mallorca.
In May 2019, the 26-year-old caught the eye by winning two tournaments back-to-back on the Challenge Tour. The Frenchman came through the field on the final day to win by four shots at the Challenge de España, before cruising to a dominant seven shot victory at the Prague Golf Challenge the very next week. These victories saw him briefly lead the Road to Mallorca standings. Currently ranked 180 in the world, he eventually finished the season 8th on the list which earned him a place on the European Tour for 2020.
Standing six feet six inches, the 26-year-old is hard to miss. He made history in 2019 by becoming the first Polish golfer to earn European Tour membership when he finished fifth on the Road to Mallorca standings. Earlier in the year he triumphed at the Open de Portugal, winning by two strokes. Meronk carded just a solitary bogey in his final round before signing off with two birdies in his last three holes. The powerful big hitter shaved more than 300 places off his world ranking in 2019 to his current ranking of 215.