Adrian Meronk says he was “shocked, sad and angry” after failing to receive a Ryder Cup pick from Europe captain Luke Donald.
Polish golfer Meronk won his third DP World Tour title at May’s Italian Open – staged at the Ryder Cup venue near Rome where Europe will begin their quest to regain the biennial trophy from the United States later this month.
He also finished fifth on the European points list – 20 places above the selected Nicolai Hojgaard.
Former Open champion Shane Lowry also received one of Donald’s six wildcard picks despite the Irishman’s poor recent form.
Meronk’s exclusion has been a major talking point on both sides of the Atlantic.
“It’s been an emotional time for me to be honest, from shock to sadness to anger and now I’m trying to turn it into motivation going into this week,” said Meronk on the eve of the defence of his Irish Open title.
“Obviously it’s a hard one to swallow, I thought I’d done enough to be on that team but it is what it is, I wish them good luck and I will just focus on my game and move forward.”
Ludvig Aberg, who only turned professional in June, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Sepp Straka were Donald’s other wildcard picks.
They join automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Robert MacIntyre in the 12-strong European team.
Meronk added: “He [Donald] was saying that someone has to stay home, it was close and stuff like that. I wouldn’t want to be in his position but it was a big shock.
“On Monday, the first half of the day was just sadness and disbelief and then anger because the last year-and-a-half I spent a lot of time thinking about this and that was my goal.
“Suddenly I was just realising it’s not going to happen this year.
“I talked to my parents, my psychologist, my coach and they have all been quite supportive and a lot of players on Tour, coaches and caddies have all been very supportive, texting me, calling me.”
© Agence France-Presse