'Motivated' Adrian Meronk chasing Wentworth win after Ryder Cup snub

Adrian Meronk smiles on the 18th green during the second round  of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.
Adrian Meronk smiles on the 18th green during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

After following an opening 67 that included a double-bogey 7 with a 68 on the iconic West Course at the Surrey venue, the 30-year-old is threatening to pull off an ironic DP World Tour victory following his controversial snub by Luke Donald.

Despite winning three times in the last 16 months and sitting third behind Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in this season’s Race to Dubai, Meronk was overlooked for a captain’s pick for the match against the Americans in Rome in a fortnight’s time.

Before playing in last week’s Horizon Irish Open at The K Club, Meronk admitted his initial reaction to missing out had gone from “shock to sadness to anger” and, facing another barrage of questions about it, he was both open and honest once again.

“Well, it feels like it,” he replied to being asked if he was a man on a mission in this week’s $9 million Rolex Series event, “but I don’t want to think about it like that. To be honest, I have moved on, I have left everything in the past and now I am just focusing on my game. I want to finish the season strongly and that is my only goal now.

“I’m trying to turn all that disappointment and anger into motivation, especially going into this week. This is my fourth tournament in a row and I can feel it in my body, but I want to try and keep it going.

“I think the key for me was to accept it and then move on. My parents, my girlfriend, my coach, my psychologist, my caddie, they all helped me with that and we accepted it as a team and moved on - that was the key.”

Asked what the best piece of advice he’d been given over the past week and a half, he added: “I’d say acceptance. I know it’s easy to say, but it’s like having a bad round and letting it go. This one was a little bit tougher to accept because it wasn’t based on me and someone else made that decision.”

Due to a combination of it being a case of him being very unfortunate - one of those wins came on the Ryder Cup course in the Italian Open in May - and the classy way he’s reacted to the disappointment, Meronk has been cheered every step of the way so far this week.

“Yeah, definitely,” he admitted to being asked if he sensed people are pulling for him. “I’ve had a lot of support, which is unbelievable, to be honest. From all the players, coaches, staff and spectators, which has been very encouraging.

“I’ve had shouts from people in Polish saying I should be on the team, I deserved it and I am good enough. I definitely think it is wrong. I feel I’ve deserved it. I feel I've shown in the last two years that I’ve played really good on the DP World Tour. If you look at the results and the numbers, I thought it was enough, but there’s nothing I can do now - it’s over.”

Will he be watching the match? “If you had asked me that two weeks ago, I would have said I wouldn’t be watching it,” he admitted. “But I will definitely watch it. It’s still one of the greatest tournaments in golf.”