Adrian Meronk narrowly missed on a captain’s pick for Europe’s Ryder Cup team, with Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka completing Luke Donald’s line-up; Watch the Irish Open live this week on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 06/09/23 1:36pm
Adrian Meronk has set his sights on defending his Horizon Irish Open title after being left “shocked, sad and angry” at missing out on a captain’s pick for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
Meronk claimed a three-shot victory in last year’s contest at Mount Juliet, one of three wins over the past 15 months on the DP World Tour, leading to the Polish player being a strong contender to make a Ryder Cup debut for Team Europe later this month.
The world No 51 failed to automatically qualifying for Europe, finishing fifth on the European Points List and 11th on the World Points List, with Meronk – who won the Italian Open at the Ryder Cup venue earlier this week – then missing out on a captain’s pick from Luke Donald.
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Meronk finished 13th in last week’s final qualifying event in Switzerland and was expecting good news when he received the call from Donald, only to learn that Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka were the six picks to complete Europe’s line-up.
“It’s been an emotional time for me to be honest, from shock to sadness to anger and now I’m trying to turn it into motivation going into this week,” Meronk said. “Obviously it’s a hard one to swallow, I thought I’d done enough to be on that team but it is what it is, I wish them good luck and I will just focus on my game and move forward.
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“I was expecting a call because they told me they were going to call regardless and I was in quite a good mood to be honest. I was on the train coming from Switzerland, I’d had a nice finish and I was in shock.
“I heard from him (Donald) that it was tough for him as well but to be honest when he said I’m not going I kind of stopped listening. He was saying that someone has to stay home, it was close and stuff like that. I wouldn’t want to be in his position but it was a big shock.
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“On Monday, the first half of the day was just sadness and disbelief and then anger because the last year and a half I spent a lot of time thinking about this and that was my goal. Suddenly I was just realising it’s not going to happen this year.
“I talked to my parents, my psychologist, my coach and they have all been quite supportive and a lot of players on tour, coaches and caddies have all been very supportive, texting me, calling me.”
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Asked if fellow players had been saying they were surprised by his omission, Meronk added: “Yeah, quite a few. That’s very encouraging and I appreciate all that support.”
Donald defended Meronk’s omission when he made his captain’s picks announcement on Monday, saying: “Adrian [Meronk] was very much on my mind. There were a number of players that you could make a good argument to be on that team that aren’t. Those are difficult decisions.
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“I’ve been in that position myself, I know what it feels like and it’s gut-wrenching. I spoke to them all and it’s never easy but they handled it with class.”
See Meronk in action throughout the week at the Horizon Irish Open live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.
Watch the Ryder Cup this month exclusively live Sky Sports. Live coverage of the opening day begins on Friday September 29 from 6am on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, Ryder Cup and more with NOW.