Adrian Meronk: I would not have joined LIV if I had not received Ryder Cup snub

Adrian Meronk: I would not have joined LIV if I did not get Ryder Cup snub
Adrian Meronk joined LIV Golf for a fee understood to be around £10 million - Getty Images/David Cannon

Adrian Meronk has revealed he probably would not have jumped ship to LIV Golf had he been picked for last year’s Ryder Cup.

‌The Pole, ranked 44th in the world, was the surprise omission when the Europe captain Luke Donald named his six wildcards in September, three weeks before the Ryder Cup in Rome.

‌Meronk had not only won five months previously at the Marco Simone course where Europe hosted Team USA, but had also prevailed earlier in the season at the Australian Open and only narrowly missed out on one of the six automatic placings.

‌The 30-year-old said at the time he was “shocked” and “angry” at being overlooked, particularly as three of the 12-man squad had worse rankings.

‌Meronk bounced back in style by winning the Andalucía Masters a few weeks later before finishing the season in fourth place in the Tour’s order of merit, ahead of nine players from Donald’s 12-man squad.

‌He started this campaign with top 10s at the Australian Open and Dubai Invitational, then followed up this fine opening with second place behind Rory McIlroy at last month’s Dubai Desert Classic.

‌Only McIlroy, the world No 2, stands ahead of him in the 2024 order of merit, although as Meronk has joined LIV and is facing bans, it is a moot point when and where he next appears on his home circuit.

‌After making his LIV debut in Mexico this week, Meronk insists he has no regrets. While the signing-on fee – believed to top £10 million – was clearly a factor, Meronk has also revealed that his Rome snub played a big part in his decision when the Saudis came knocking a fortnight ago.

‌“Ï don’t know, but I would probably not have come to LIV if I had played in the Ryder Cup,” Meronk told Telegraph Sport here at the Las Vegas Country Club ahead of the £20 million event. “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.”

‌Of course, Donald’s selections were ultimately vindicated with Europe winning 16½--11½. But the shallow pool of talent available to the blue-and-gold camp does not compare to that of Team USA and the fact that Meronk is now less likely to be available for the 2025 match in New York is obviously far from ideal.

‌“I lost a lot of motivation at that time,” Meronk said. “Yeah, I got it back quite quickly but that’s because I have a lot of great people around me who helped me to get back and focus on myself and play my best golf. So in that way, I’m glad that it happened.”

Meronk’s contention is that the setback allowed him to see what he believes truly matters. “People will say this move is all about the money, but what is just as important is the lighter schedule,” he said.

‌“The last two years I had really great years, but to be honest, I wasn’t enjoying it as much. 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.”

‌Meronk has still not entirely given up on the mission to becomes the first Pole to play in the Ryder Cup and as he had already appeared in the minimum four events that assures him of keeping his card in 2025. If he pays the fines that will accumulate, Meronk should be eligible regardless of whether a peace deal is reached.

‌“It has always been my goal,” he said. “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. I will just work hard on my game, perform at my best and see what can happen.”

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