LIV and Learn
Adrian Meronk confirms Ryder Cup snub pushed him to LIV Golf
When Adrian Meronk was left off the European Ryder Cup team last September, he admitted he went "from shock to sadness to anger." Meronk finished fifth on the European Points list, 20 points ahead of Nicolai Hojgaard, and yet the latter got one of the pivotal captain’s picks. Now, with Meronk having defected to LIV Golf and leaving behind his newly earned PGA Tour card as well as his place on the DP World Tour, it seems like this rebuff was one of the key reasons the Polish golfer made the jump.
“I don’t know, but I would probably not have come to LIV if I had played in the Ryder Cup,” Meronk revealed to Telegraph Sport. “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, was coming off a win at the Australian Open the previous December and a summer victory at the Italian Open—played on the Marco Simone course that hosted the Ryder Cup—so his candidacy was certainly strong heading into Luke Donald’s selections. The Europeans ended up drubbing the Americans 16½-11½, but barely missing out on the team certainly hit Meronk hard.
The reported $10 million signing bonus probably didn’t hurt, but Meronk also acknowledged that the LIV schedule has helped him fall back in love with the sport.
“The last two years I had really great years, but to be honest, I wasn’t enjoying it as much,” Meronk told the Telegraph. “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 still has an outside chance at the next Ryder Cup, as he attempts to become the first Pole to compete in the matches. He has already appeared in enough events in order to keep his card through 2025, and it’s still unclear where the PGA Tour-LIV Golf feud goes from here. As long as he doesn't surrender his DP World Tour membership, he will be eligible for the event. For now, Meronk is focused on the golf—he finished T-47 in his first LIV start last week at Mayakoba as a member of the Cleeks G.C.—and maybe one day he'll get his Ryder Cup opportunity.
“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.”