Adrian Meronk arrives at Nurtau Golf Club, the home of this week’s Kazakhstan Open, knowing that it is a ‘make or break week’ in his debut European Challenge Tour season.
The 24 year old made an excellent start to life on Europe’s top developmental tour at the season-opening Barclays Kenya Open where he carded a final round of 65 to climb into the top five in only his third appearance as a professional.
The Pole, who joined the paid ranks in October last year after a stellar amateur career that saw him reach eighth in the world, has since struggled to match his early season promise – a share of 13th at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts his only other top 20 this term.
But after several practice rounds at Almaty’s Nurtau Golf Club, Meronk believes this week’s course is suited to his game – and is similar to another venue where he performed so well in March.
“I really like it here,” he said. “The course is very firm but narrow, which will mean lots of long irons off of the tee. It is very similar to Kenya in terms of the set-up, which is good for me as I played really well in Kenya.
“Unfortunately I have not been able to play recently because I haven’t got any more invites left. I am here this week though and I need to play well to get into the rest of the events for the season – it really is a make or break week for me.”
Although he hasn’t teed it up on the Challenge Tour since July, Meronk has been maintaining his competitive edge by taking part in several events on Europe’s satellite tours.
After coming agonisingly close to victory at the Wroclaw Open on the Pro Golf Tour – Meronk lost out to Germany’s Finn Fleer in a play-off – the young Pole’s confidence is now fully restored going in to such a crucial week.
“I have been playing on the Pro Golf Tour to keep fresh,” he said. “I played really well recently in a Polish event where I came second after losing out in a play-off.
“That experience has helped my confidence a lot and has reassured me that I have the game to compete. Overall my game feels good and I just need to stay focused on my strategy this week.
“I am very excited to be back on the Challenge Tour and to be competing against the guys again – I can’t wait for tomorrow.”