Monday, February 26, 2024

Adrian Meronk says if not for Ryder Cup snub, he wouldn’t have joined LIV Golf

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Adrian Meronk was in shock when he wasn’t one of the six captain’s picks to join Luke Donald’s squad at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy.

“I was expecting I have a pretty decent chance to be on the team, but it was a quite shocking call,” he said at the time. “I heard from (Donald) that it was tough for him, as well. To be honest when I — when he said I’m not going, I kind of stopped listening,” he said of the call. “He was saying that someone had to stay home. It was close obviously and stuff like that.

“Obviously I wouldn’t want to be in his position. I knew it was tough for him. But yeah, as I said, it was a big shock, and I didn’t really focus after that.”

However, once he started to focus again, he had a new one: LIV Golf.

Meronk confirmed with The Telegraph that his snub from the Ryder Cup team was a major reason he decided to join LIV Golf.

“I don’t know, but I would probably not have come to LIV if I had played in the Ryder Cup,” Meronk said. “What happened definitely made my choice easier. You know, what I went through just made it easier to care more about myself and not care what other people think of me, or what other people want me to do.‌

“What happened with the Ryder Cup just opened my eyes as to how everything works. Yeah, and that in life, especially when you are a professional athlete, it is not your whole life. You just have to make sure that your family is good and that you are good and feeling good.”

Meronk, 30, had a strong case to be selected. He had won the Australian Open the previous December and also the Italian Open earlier that summer, played at no other than Marco Simone, site of the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans didn’t have an issue taking down the Americans, winning 16½-11½. However, the decision kept Meronk wondering.
‌”The last two years I had really great years, but to be honest, I wasn’t enjoying it as much,” Meronk said. “I was just constantly on the road. We didn’t have a proper home, just packing from hotel to hotel, airport to airport. I was sitting with my parents and my girlfriend during Christmas, and I was just saying, ‘Yeah, I had a great year, but I didn’t really enjoy it.’ I remember when I won in Italy last May, waking up on the Monday, and saying, ‘OK, great, I won the tournament. But now I have to start all over again, go to a new course, get my routine going again. Where is the joy?’ ‌So one of the best things is having more time to enjoy life with my family and friends.”

Now, Meronk is a member of Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks. He finished 47th of 54 golfers in his debut at LIV Golf Mayakoba but sat inside the top 20 heading into the final round at LIV Golf Las Vegas on Saturday.

He told The Telegraph he still hopes to play on a Ryder Cup team one day.

“Obviously, I didn’t like how I was treated last time, but if it’s possible to play in the Ryder Cup and if I’m good enough, I would love to be on the team,” he said. “I will just work hard on my game, perform at my best and see what can happen.”

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