Adrian Meronk wins the 2023 Seve Ballesteros Award

Mark McGowan
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Adrian Meronk accepts the award from Javier Ballesteros (Pic: DP World Tour)

Mark McGowan

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Adrian Meronk has won the 2023 Seve Ballesteros Award after being voted Player of the Year by his peers on the DP World Tour.

The accolade is one of a number of the 31-year-old’s history-making achievements as he becomes the first player from Poland to receive the honour after a season in which he won three times and finished a career-high fourth on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.

Meronk earned 38% of the votes cast by his fellow DP World Tour members, with Race to Dubai Champion Rory McIlroy taking second place. Ryder Cup debutant Nicolai Højgaard and Viktor Hovland, who clinched the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup, were in joint third place.

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Meronk was presented with the trophy by one of Seve’s sons Javier, who travelled to Dubai ahead of this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic, won by his father more than 30 years ago.

The Pole started the 2023 season in stunning fashion, earning his second DP World Tour title at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open, holding off a final day challenge from home favourite – and one of his golfing heroes – Major champion Adam Scott.

His victory in Australia earned him a place inside the Top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of the 2022 calendar year, enough to secure a maiden appearance at the Masters Tournament and thus become the first player from Poland to compete in all four Major Championships.

Another national open title followed shortly after as he triumphed at the DS Automobiles Italian Open, birdieing the 72nd hole at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club to win the title by one stroke. He then moved to a career-high 45th on the OWGR shortly after his win in Italy.

His next victory of the campaign, and fourth DP World Tour title, came at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters at Sotogrande, as he secured his position inside the top ten on the season-long rankings, ultimately going on to finish in fourth position and earn dual membership on the PGA TOUR for 2024.

The Player of the Year Award, named after the legendary Seve Ballesteros, incorporates the former Golfer of the Year Award after the two accolades were combined in 2021 to become one single honour voted for by the DP World Tour’s members.

Meronk, said: “It feels amazing. I’m shocked to be honest, I didn’t expect that. You got me by surprise but seeing my name next to all of these players, it’s unbelievable. I’m very grateful for this award. It means a lot to me that other players appreciate my season last year. It’s a great feeling.

“Last year was the best season so far in my career. I’m really happy that other players saw that, as well and give that award. Just thank you for that and I have to keep going.

“I enjoy this week. I love playing here in Dubai. It’s probably one of my favourite tournaments of the year. So I’m excited to be here. We have such a great field this week, so I will just enjoy every moment.”

“It’s actually very nice to be here,” added Ballesteros. “I used to come here with my dad many years ago, and to have an award with his name that the players vote for the Player of the Year, we are very grateful and very happy that there’s a prize with his name.

“Adrian played fantastic last year, he won multiple times and he’s a well-deserved winner of this award.

“We were very happy when the Tour came to us to say that they were going to put the Seve Ballesteros Award for the Player of the Year, and we really do like it.  We are very grateful, and the special thing that we like is the prize is voted by the players.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, added: “Adrian has made history throughout his career, and I’m delighted to congratulate him once again, this time for becoming the first Polish player to add their name to the illustrious list of winners of the Seve Ballesteros Award.

“Any season that includes three trophies – including two national opens – is always impressive, and Adrian’s peers clearly thought so.

“I also want to thank Javier Ballesteros for travelling to Dubai to present the award to Adrian. It meant a lot to have him there to represent his father.”

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