Meronk ‘Sad, Angry, Shocked’ To Be Snubbed Of Ryder Cup Pick

KILDARE, Ireland (AP) — Polish golfer Adrian Meronk received “a big shock” when captain Luke Donald called to let him know that he wouldn’t be picked for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

“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 Wednesday before attempting to defend his title at the Irish Open.

Meronk’s title a year ago was followed by two more wins in the space of 10 months — including an Italian Open victory in May on the Marco Simone course that will host the Ryder Cup at the end of the month.

But Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, Ludvig Aberg, Sepp Straka and Nicolai Hojgaard were handed the captain’s picks by Donald on Monday.

“Obviously it’s a hard one to swallow,” Meronk said. “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.”

Meronk finished fifth on the European Points list, 20 places above Hojgaard. Lowry’s selection has also been questioned due to a poor run of form, having not had a top-10 finish since winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth nearly a year ago.

Meronk was on a train Sunday leaving the European Masters, where he finished in a tie for 13th, when Donald called.

“I heard from him that it was tough for him as well but to be honest when he said I’m not going I kind of stopped listening,” Meronk said. “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.

“The last year and a half I spent a lot of time thinking about this and that was my goal. Suddenly I was just realizing 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.”

Meronk will play with Rory McIlroy and American Billy Horschel for the first two rounds at the K Club.

“I haven’t experienced that before so I’m fighting with emotions inside of me. I want to focus on the week, it’s a great venue, a great tournament but it’s still somewhere inside of in the back of my mind what happened a couple of days ago.”

Lowry, an Irishman, will be playing at home this week. But he’s already looking ahead to his first Ryder Cup in Europe, having been on the team that was routed by the Americans at Whistling Straits in 2021.

“It’s going to be different with 40,000 people shouting for you, instead of 40,000 people shouting against you,” Lowry said. “Everyone’s been telling me that a home Ryder Cup is a lot different and it’s a lot more fun and it’s a little bit more enjoyable.

“The next few weeks are huge,” Lowry added. “It’s just such an exciting time to be playing here and I’m really looking forward to it.”