Australian Open 2022: Poland’s Adrian Meronk and Ashleigh Buhai from South Africa win the historic first-ever dual-gender event

Adam Scott’s wait for a first win since 2020 will extend in to 2023 after giving up his Australian Open lead early in the final round and never getting it back as Poland’s Adrian Meronk added his name to the elite list of winners on the Stonehaven Cup.

The “bite” Scott forecast from the sandbelt came in the form of a gusty northerly breeze but it was Scott’s stone-cold putter which let the Australia star down as rock-solid Meronk took the lead after two holes and never gave it back in a five-shot victory at Victoria Golf Club.

A crippling-double bogey on the 17th hole left the hopeful home crowd deflated as Meronk made a triumphant march down the final hole to secure his place in history with an eagle on the closing hole.

Meronk finished on finished 14-under par after a closing round four-under 68 to Scott’s 9-under after he shot a two-over 72.

“I’m super excited and to finish like that on the 18th hole is just unreal,” Meronk said.

“I’m so grateful, thank you for all the support and I enjoyed this week so much.”

“I felt really good again today. I kept doing what I’ve done the last two days and it worked pretty well. I’m super proud of myself, proud of my team and super happy right now.

Scott was realistic about his OK day just not being as good as the winner’s but gave his campaign a significant pass mark while looking forward to the beach-time his fellow headliner Cameron Smith got to start enjoying a day earlier.

“On Thursday I didn’t think I’d make a cut this week so it was nice to be able to turn it around,” Scott said, smiling at least on the outside.

“I would have loved to play just a little bit better today, got in a little bit tighter with a couple of shots and maybe put the pressure on a bit more at the end.

“I wish I could have delivered a better result for myself and (the fans) today. but I was outplayed and you know, that‘s how it goes.”

As Meronk raced away from the chasing pack so too did South African Ashleigh Buhai before holding off a local challenge from 21-year-old Grace Kim, the first round leader, and Korean Jiyai Shin to add the Australian Open title to her British Open victory in August with a one-shot win.

“It’s the cherry on the top I guess. Sorry, it’s just hit me,” 33-year-old Buhai said.

“And obviously last minute, to have (husband) Dave on the bag, it’s very special to be able to celebrate together.”

Kim was tied for the lead going to the 18th hole before a double-bogey seven robbed the Sydneysider of what would have been a fairytale win.

Hannah Green, playing in the final group, closed with a two-over 74, a last hole bride helping her hold on for third place.

World No.4 Minjee Lee failed to muster a real final day challenge, getting within two of the lead before losing three shots in two holes to close out her front nine which dropped her out of contention and she finished four- shots behind Buhai.

The victory for world No.56 Meronk, which has been fueled this week by Polish food courtesy of his girlfriend’s Melbourne based cousins who is staying with, came after a horror start in his opening round falling to four-over par through the opening seven holes of his campaign, which began at Victoria.

But from the moment he made a final-hole birdie on Thursday, Meronk made another seven, plus an eagle, in his second round, and nine as he equaled the course-record with a third round 63.

He was, by far, the most prolific birdie maker in the field and three more in his opening nine holes on Sunday, without any bogeys, was enough to put a gap on the field which even Masters champion Scott, who shot 63, 67 on Friday and Saturday as evidence of his own scoring ability, couldn’t close.

Despite going low on Saturday, and driving consistently well off the tee, Scott struggled to give himself enough good looks at birdie putting the emphasis on his putting which while solid failed to produce the brilliance required to win his second Open title.

A bogey on the opening hole was the worst possible start for Scott and after Meronk began with consecutive birdies the Australia’s one-shot lead was very quickly a two-shot deficit.

With a gusty northerly wind making hot conditions, with temperatures hovering around 33C, even hotter and it was the man from the cold climates of Poland who thrived.

Back-to-back birdies from Scott on his fourth and fifth hole helped him bridge the gap on his playing partner, but it was to be the last time they shared the top of the leaderboard.

Consecutive bogeys from Scott on the seventh and eighth holes as his putter went stone cold, and then from back bunker on the ninth as Meronk made birdie from the front, gave the visitor a three-shot lead at the turn.

One-shot, after Meronk bogey and a Scott par from the fairway bunker on the 13th hole, was as close as Scott got as his failed to consistently challenge his playing partner and shot a closing … as the chance to secure a first victory since February 2020 went begging.

An opening hole eagle from the third member of the playing group, Min Woo Lee, was just a brief move in to contention, with bogeys on the eighth and then the 10th dropping him five shots off the lead, ending his chance at a maiden Open title.

He finished … but was consoled by the fact he secured passage to next year’s British Open as the leading finisher not already qualified.



14-under Adrian Meronk (Poland)

9-under Adam Scott

8-under Min Woo Lee


Ashleigh Buhai (South Africa)

11-under Jiyai Shin (Korea)

10-under Hannah Green

9-under – Grace Kim

8-under Minjee Lee



Adam Scott turned a frustratingly flat line late for most of Saturday in an upward direction late holing a stunning final hole eagle to seize the lead and continue his pursuit of a second Australian Open.

After shooting a 63 on Friday, Scott’s Saturday scorecard hardly moved as Poland’s Adrian Meronk went on a birdie blitz to equal the course record the Australian star fired the day before.

But two back nine birdies began a move which ended with the eagle, met by raucous applause on the 18th hole just before 7pm as Scott recorded a three-under 67 to move to 11-under, one ahead of Meronk after an extra-long day of third rounds drew frustration from some.

Rounds extending in to the early evening are a kink of the dual-gender Open officials will have to work out before next year as a mass of players jostled for three different titles on the same course.

Officials confirmed the world-first format for a national open would continue in 2023 when the event returns to Sydney with The Australian Golf Club and a second course to be confirmed as locations.

There was frustration among some players with 161 – 78 women, 71 men and 12 all-abilities golfers – packed on to Victoria on Saturday producing enough delays for some to lament the lack of rhythm on offer.

Meronk found his by addressing the putting issues of his opening day to storm to the top of the leaderboard on the back of nine birdies in his seven-under round of 63, a run fuelled by Polish food from the Melbourne-based cousins of his girlfriend, Melania.

“We‘ve had had like Polish foods, family dinner every night,” Meronk said.

“It feels like home to be honest. Like it‘s always nice to be you know, coming back to the house talking Polish.

“I know my game too. I know if I play like I did today I can, you know, shoot really low scores. I will just focus on that. And that‘s all I can do. And hopefully you’ll be enough at the end of the day.”

Overnight leader David Micheluzzi struggled to a two-over 72 while Min Woo lee, the brother of world No.4 Minjee, holed out from the bunker for an eagle on the 18th hole as part of his five-under 67 and he’s poised to pounce on Sunday four back from Scott.

“It’s a good position. Obviously you would like to be in the lead, but I’m playing good golf and who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow,” he said.

Victorian Lucas Herbert was frustrated by more than the triple-bogey on the 17th hole which turned what could have been a 64 in to a 67 ho shot a 67 in a round which took five hours and 20 minutes

“This is what happens when you have so many people out on the course,” he said


11-under – Adam Scott

10-under – Adrian Meronk

7-under – Min Woo Lee, Haydn Barron

6-under – Josh Geary, Conor Purcell



Adam Scott says he never throws in the towel and he likes the way his Australian Open story is shaping.

The superstar returning home for the first time in three years, and playing the first Open in Melbourne for 20 years, quickly puts a “disgusting” opening round in the rearview mirror to shoot a course record to seize a share of the lead before going on to win the trophy for a second time on Sunday.

It’s the scenario which looms large over the historic tournament after the Masters champion bounced back from a lackluster opening day to equal the course-record with a birdie blitzkrieg at Victoria Golf Club and storm in to outright favouritism to snare the Stonehaven Cup.

While fellow headline act Cameron Smith struggled for a second-straight day and just fell in to the weekend as the cut line dropped through the afternoon, Scott thrived in perfect conditions as a huge throng of fans flocked to see him thrive in perfect scoring conditions.

Scott still has to contend with local lad David Micheluzzi who tried his best not to relinquish his opening round lead before a final hole bogey for the 26-year-old Victorian resulted in a one-under-par 71 and he’ll start the third round sharing with lead with his senior playing partner.

After freeing up his mind and letting go of some of the “inhibitions” he carried in his opening round, Scott said his capacity to fight his way through bad days, mixed with experience that comes with winning tournaments around the world could be the secret ingredient to get him over the line.

“It’s not the first time I have played terrible … I‘ve had plenty of bad rounds in my career and had to come out the next day,” Scott said after racking up five birdies and an crowd-delighting final hole eagle in his round of seven-under 63 to charge in to the weekend chock full of confidence.

“I also pride myself on kind of not throwing in the towel like I don’t, you know, rack up big numbers too often and I also don’t withdraw playing bad.

“So I‘m here to win the tournament this week and you know, can turn things around quick, I have that experience as well and it did today.

“Yeah, I hit some much better shots today. I mean, you know, I‘d be lying if I said I’m 100% confident with exactly where it’s going.

“But I had a better idea today and you know, to get yourself back to that 100% confidence, you have to let go of some of the inhibitions or the fear of going offline and just swing the club.

“I think I was just trying too hard to swing good yesterday and it was making it hard for myself to even swing the club so I did the opposite today.”

Scott has a three-shot break on the rest of the chasing pack which includes world No. 1214th, Hadyn Barron and veteran New Zealander Josh Keary.

The only contender with anything close to Scott’s experience is defending champ Matt Jones, who is five shots off the co-leaders.

It puts Scott in a position of significant promise and he said his aim on Saturday was to try and “take a lot of players out of it” so he could drive home his advantage on Sunday.

“So you know if I can play well tomorrow and anyone else can come with and it‘s only a few guys in it, that’d be a great position for Sunday that maybe I have some advantage from experience,” he said.

“I like the story. It‘s good.”



Cameron Smith said his mind was “foggy” and he felt uncomfortable in the second round of the Australian Open after a second-straight over par round left him staring at missing the cut at the flagship event in Melbourne.

The world No.3 is facing an anxious Friday afternoon with his own slice of history gone following another one-over par round, this time at Kingston Heath, ended with Smith in a tie for 81st, with only the top 60 players and ties to go through to the weekend as the afternoon players go out.

After an opening round on Thursday which he called “pretty rubbish” at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne, Smith swapped courses for round two but the story remained largely the same and even a last-gasp birdie on his final hole moved, which moved him to two-over for the tournament, still had him teetering on the edge of the cutline.

A bogey on his opening hole at Kingston Heath after a 7am tee time then another two dropped Smith outside the top 100 in the tournament, a place he’s not used to being.

Back-to-back birdies to start his back-nine brought hope, before a bogey on the fourth was followed by another on his second-last hole, the par three eighth, instead of the birdies he needed to secure passage to at least Saturday, after which there is a secondary cut.

Smith, who walked off the course in a tie for 81st and would need some implosions from the afternoon groups, with 35 players under par, and the cut line to blow out, to avoid missing his fir cut since the US Open in June, and only his fourth in 17 events in 2022, not including the no-cut events on the LIV tour.

Trying to become the first man since Greg Chalmers in 2011 to win the Australian PGA and Open double, the long-lasting celebrations for Smith’s win his hometown of Brisbane last week, which came after a host of events toasting the British Open champs return home, looked to have taken a toll.

“I was just really uncomfortable all day kind of similar to yesterday just couldn‘t quite hit the ball out the middle of the club face for some reason or another,” Smith said, more defeated than he was after his opening round.

“My mind was a little bit foggy obviously a little bit tired as well. Last week had been such a big week so yeah, just pretty disappointing.”

Smith said he was suffering from “delayed tiredness” on Thursday and his Friday output, despite moving to what he hoped would be an easier layout at Kingston heath, failed to help produce the type of golf which propelled him to five wins in 2022.

His opening two rounds included just six birdies, nine bogeys and 21 pars as Smith played the sandbelt for the first time since the 2019 Presidents Cup.

But while Smith battled, US Open champion Minjee Lee took the momentum from a final hole birdie on Thursday in to her second round and began a climb up the leaderboard which could have other players looking nervously over their shoulder.

Lee, the world No.4, pumped out five birdies after also moving from an opening round at Victoria to Kingston Heath in the first-ever dual-gender national open, with each player playing across the two courses in their first two rounds before the weekend action reverts to Victoria only.

She moved to five-under par and within two shots of overnight leader Grace Kim, who had an afternoon tee time, after a second round of three-under 70.

Kim, who opened with a seven-under 66 at Kingston Heath, was joined at the top of the women’s leaderboard by reigning British Open champ, Ashleigh Buhai with two-time major winner So Yeon Ryu one shot further back.



Emboldened by new self-belief local lad David Micheluzzi set the Australian Open pace as the superstars failed to sizzle in big-time golf’s return to the Melbourne sandbelt.

The first dual-gender national open is the first major golfing event in Melbourne since 2019 and the massive crowds were an indication of how great the thirst for tournament golf has been.

But headline acts Cameron Smith and Adam Scott finished their respective rounds at Victoria and Kingston Heath flustered and frustrated as the birdies that came for others failed to materialise.

Of the 36 players in the men’s field who shot under par, Lucas Herbert, who struck back late to shoot two-under, was the highest in the world rankings at 57 as Australia’s top two players battled.

“I played really poorly and I putted really well,” Scott said after carding seven birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey in his opening round of one-under 71 at Kingston Heath.

“I mean, it kind of makes up for it, but when you hit it as bad as that in bad spots, it’s hard to have a good score. I don’t know, too many early mornings for me, I think.”

Scott will head to Victoria for his second round needing to make up six shots on Micheluzzi, who equalled the course record with a 63 to lead two players, including fellow Melburnian Matt Griffin, by three shots, with another six a further shot back, with the majority having played their opening rounds at Victoria.

Smith was another two shots back after a penalty on his closing hole ruined his chances of a last-gasp birdie as he signed for a one-over par 71, also at Victoria.

“I mean, it’s not like I don’t know how to play golf. It’s just a bit of a bad day,” Smith said.

“We’ve still got three days and 54 holes is enough to you know, work out our stuff.”

Micheluzzi said local knowledge was key, having played at Victoria “100 times” and Kingston Heath even more, putting him in prime position to build on his lead.

“I know that course better. I’ve just got to do the same thing,” he said.

“Just plod it around. I made putts today, that’s why I shot seven (under). I also hit it pretty good, but just hit it good tomorrow, shoot a decent score and then obviously come into the weekend and hopefully fighting with Cam and all the big boys.

“It’ll be fun.”

Micheluzzi blasted his way to a seven-under 63 to lead the early men’s event, with 21-year-old Grace Kim equalling that feat at Kingston Heath on a morning of low numbers for the women.

Kim, who will join the LPGA Tour in the US in 2023, fired five birdies in her opening five holes to start red hot before posting the best early score of the opening round.

“I wasn‘t expecting it but I’d take it any day. I think I took my chances pretty well. I had lots of good numbers, comfortable numbers for my wedge play,” Kim said.

“I guess to simply put it, I played easy golf.

“I was definitely nervous at the start because I haven‘t played a tournament in over a month now since I’ve been back. And you’re at home, so expectations and pressures are pretty high but I just tried to embrace it all and try to enjoy it.

“I got nervous as the holes went on – I was just like, where are these birdies coming from? “You know, those times where, you know, it just goes in and I had one of those moments, I was bit shocked. I‘m glad I got a good round out of the way, so it’s a good start.”

Scott, playing at Kingston Heath, was all over the shop with seven birdies mixed with four bogeys and even a double as he shot one-under 71, knowing he has work cut out for him as he eyes off a second round at Victoria, where has played once in 20 years.

“Sometimes it‘s easier to just say that’s golf and move on to tomorrow. I really didn’t have good rhythm or control over the golf club and therefore the ball.

“But I did putt well, so you know if I can start swinging it good tomorrow and putts keep going in, then good scores could come.”

Aussie world No.20 Hannah Green made a birdie on her final hole to get to five-under, having been six-under through her opening 10 holes, to ensure she’ll be in contention for a title she has longed to win.

“I got off to a super hot start so I’m really glad that I was able to get a couple of birdies coming in because I kind of lost it there. But Kingston Heath is a brutal course, so it’s bound to happen. I’m still very pleased with the start,” she said.

“I‘ve definitely missed this. I’m sure everyone has. I think that’s why the crowds are so big. I also think it helps when Adam Scott is playing behind you, but it was great for Thursday morning. I can’t imagine what the weekend will be like, so hopefully everyone comes out and enjoys it.”


Melbourne lad David Micheluzzi says he’s overcome the “performance anxiety” that haunted him after turning pro, attributing the normality of his mum telling him to “unload the dishwasher” for his rise back up the ranks.

On Thursday, Micheluzzi, 26, shot a course-record equalling seven-under par 63 in a red-hot start to the Australian Open, smoking the morning field with a bogey-free opening round.

The “King of Cranbourne” putted well to shoot eight birdies in a display of his new-found confidence, maintaining strong recent form that included a WA PGA Championship win in October.

“When I turned pro (in 2019), it was scary. Performance anxiety comes out of nowhere. I was worried about what everyone else thought rather than just playing golf,” Micheluzzi said on Thursday.

“I think I’ve played enough pro events now that it’s just another round of golf.

“If I shoot 75, 76, I still go home, Mum (would) tell me to unload the dishwasher, all that kind of stuff, so it just feels like a normal round of golf, which is great.

“But three ago I was so uncomfortable and it showed, the golf was horrendous.”

Thursday’s bogey opening also came after a rocky entrance to the course – the 26-year-old revealed his car’s exhaust pipe was “ripped off” by a speed bump on his way in due to his mates on the back seats weighing it down – but it was the kind of normality he said ultimately helped him feel like he was playing “just another round of golf”.

“I know this course like the back of my hand,” he said.

“I saw a lot of people … I probably shouldn‘t have actually acknowledged them as much because I should be playing golf, but it felt like I was just going into a normal round at Peninsula or Cranbourne, seeing everyone and saying hello, so it kind of felt like it wasn’t a tournament at the same time.”

Micheluzzi also labelled the ranking points system “laughable” after tweeting on Monday lamenting being given just 2.01 points for coming sixth at the DP World Tour event featuring Cam Smith in November.

“I think everyone knows what I think of it,” he said, reluctant to comment further.

In a warning sign to competitors, he added that he knew Kingston Heath – where he will continue his pursuit of the cup on Friday – even better than Victoria.

“I’ve just got to do the same thing. Just hit it good tomorrow, shoot a decent score and then obviously come into the weekend, hopefully flopping with Cam (Smith) and all the big boys.”

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