‘I hope I can prove them wrong’: This Ryder Cup snub just took a big step toward PGA Tour membership
Just over a month ago, Adrian Meronk was still in shock, and rightfully so.
The 30-year-old was told by captain Luke Donald he would not be suiting up for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup despite three DP World Tour wins in the past 16 months, including one at Marco Simone, the host of the Ryder Cup, in May.
“I was expecting I’d have a pretty decent chance to be on the team — but it was quite a shocking call, yeah,” Meronk said at the Irish Open last month.
He watched as Team Europe defended its home turf, collecting the 16.5-11.5 win over the United States, without him.
There was little doubt Meronk’s absence from the team was one of the two biggest snubs on either side, with Europe legend Ian Woosnam saying he was “very sad” to see Meronk miss the team.
However, now Meronk has an even stronger case to prove his doubters wrong. He’s won four DP World Tour events in the past 17 months.
Meronk began the final round of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters four shots behind the lead and fell as many as seven back when he bogeyed two of his first three holes Sunday.
Then he buoyed his round with two eagles on 6 and 9 before making four birdies on the back nine to surge ahead of Matti Schmid and win the tournament by one at 16 under.
The word Meronk used to describe his emotions: “Relieved”
“It was a tough tournament. Tough weather. Didn’t have my best golf on the first day, to be honest,” Meronk told Sky Sports afterward. “To win the tournament is very special.”
He also had a message for his doubters after being left off the Ryder Cup team.
“I’m just glad the Ryder Cup and all the talk about it is over,” the DP World Tour’s first Polish winner said. “I can just focus on my game and keep going forward. And whoever doubted me, I hope I can prove them wrong.”
The win also puts Meronk in prime position to do exactly that. The win moves him up to No. 3 in the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, ahead of Ryan Fox. The second part is important as the top two in the standings, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are PGA Tour members.
For the first time this year, the PGA Tour will award PGA Tour cards to the top 10 players on the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai ranking at the end of the season, but not all 10 cards will be equal. Similar to how the season-long points leader from the Korn Ferry Tour has full status and is not subject to reshuffles, the highest-ranked player on the DP World Tour who is not otherwise a PGA Tour member, will be slotted full status, while Nos. 2-10 will be placed with the top Korn Ferry and Q-School graduates and be subjected to the two reshuffles.
With three events remaining on the DP World Tour schedule, Meronk leads Fox by about two points.