Adrian Meronc missed out on captain's choice despite winning at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome. Photo: Getty Images/Oisin Keniri
Adrian Meronk admitted he was “shocked, saddened and angry” after Luke Donald ignored him as a wild card in the Ryder Cup.
Donald was criticized for a choice of players such as Shane Lowry and Nicolai Hooygaard – at 22 years of age they became the youngest captain in 36 years – ahead of Meronk, who won three DP World Tour titles, including the Italian Open at the Ryder Cup in Rome four months ago.
Paul Goidos, former US vice-captain, called it a “crime”. Hunter Mahan, who has three Ryder Cups under his belt, said: “That makes sense.”
Meronk clearly feels the same way. He posted on social media on Monday wishing Team Europe good luck, hours after Donald announced his six wild cards, which included Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Ludwig Aberg. But inside, he confessed that he felt sadness and seething.
He was on the train from the European Masters to Geneva airport when Donald called on Sunday evening.
“Honestly, I was in a pretty good mood. I would have a good finish (13th place). But yes, it was quite a shocking call,” Meronk said. “Honestly, when Luke said, 'You're not going,' I sort of stopped listening. He said that someone should stay at home. Obviously, it was close and all.
“Obviously, I wouldn't want to be in his place. I knew it was hard for him. But yes, like I said, it was a big shock and I didn't really concentrate after that.”
It hit hard the next day.
“Monday morning was just sadness and disbelief and then anger because I spent a lot of time for the last year and a half thinking about it and that was my goal,” Meronk said. “Suddenly, I realized that this year will not happen.
“I talked to my parents, psychologist, coach, and they were all very supportive, and many players on the tour, coaches and caddies support me. everyone was very supportive, they wrote me, they called me.”
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Meronk spoke of the fury of the Polish fans: “No, people there didn't take it very well”, especially those who had already bought tickets for Marko Simone, as they were sure that he would be in the team.
“To be honest , for me it was a very emotional few days,” he said.
“Obviously, it is difficult to survive. I thought I did enough to be on the team, but that's what it is. I wish them good luck and I'll just focus on my game and move forward.”
Meronk is the reigning Irish Open champion, but if he wants to try to forget about the rejection, it will be difficult – the organizers put him in couple with Rory McIlroy.
“I'll try to use that as motivation this week,” Meronk said. “But it's not easy. I've never experienced anything like this before, so I'm struggling with emotions inside.
“I want to focus on the week, it's a great place, a great tournament, but it's still somewhere behind. I'm thinking about what happened a couple of days ago. But I hope that tomorrow I will be ready for the first blow and will do my best, as always.”