Is Adrian Meronk Now A Lock For The Ryder Cup?
Adrian Meronk secured his third DP World Tour title, and third national open, at the Italian Open with a victory that could spark a historic debut at this year's Ryder Cup.
The 29-year-old is the first Pole to win on the DP World Tour and he'd become the first Pole to represent Team Europe at the Ryder Cup if he were to make the team this year. He is also the first Pole to earn a DP World Tour card, play on the PGA Tour, make a cut in the US and reach the world's top 50.
The record breaker is currently on the brink of the six automatic qualification spots for Luke Donald's side and looks likely to be in contention for a wildcard pick if he doesn't make them in what will be a new-look European side.
There will be no Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood or, most likely, any LIV player due to the ongoing civil war between LIV Golf and the established PGA and DP World Tours.
It means that Europe will look for 'fresh blood' and Meronk fits the bill with wins at the Australian, Irish and Italian Opens over the past 10 months.
Those wins and plenty more high finishes have seen him rise to 46th in the world and up to 4th in the Race to Dubai rankings, putting him in prime position to earn a PGA Tour card for next year - with the top ten finishers (who don't already have one) earning a card on the US-based circuit.
He is now the 11th-highest-ranked European and has caught the eye of captain Donald ahead of the clash in Rome this September.
"Superb win for @AdrianMeronk," the 2023 captain tweeted. "Some solid golf played all week and came up with the right shots when he needed them most, starting to make winning a habit. Well done Adrian."
Meronk himself has an eye on Team Europe, especially after winning around this year's course.
"It was definitely on my mind coming here, performing well in front of Luke," Meronk said. "I think it might help, but there's still a lot of time left. I still have to work on my game and get better to make the team."
Donald got a good look at Meronk during January's Hero Cup, where the Pole lost his first three matches but won his singles match versus Callum Shinkwin as Continental Europe defeated GB&I 14.5-10.5.
Meronk is in all of the year's remaining Majors and will hope to climb the world rankings and pick up more wins on the European circuit to secure a place on the team.
Team Europe looks set to feature Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and one or two other established names, but the name of Adrian Meronk could certainly be seen on the team sheet come September.
Is he a lock for the team? Perhaps not just yet, but three big wins in the past 10 months and a victory around Marco Simone Golf and Country Club will have put him right up the top of the list when Luke Donald thinks about his rookies for Rome.
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