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Adrian Meronk has broken his silence after the DP World Tour star was left out of Europe’s Ryder Cup team by Luke Donald. Captain’s picks were finalised by Donald on Monday, with Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Justin Rose all confirmed to be on the plane to Rome later this month.
But with three more places to fill, debuts have been handed to Open Championship runner-up Sepp Straka, Danish star Nicolai Hojgaard and breakout Swede Ludvig Aberg.
The inclusion of Aberg is the major conversation point as the 23-year-old only turned professional three months ago. But he has already secured his first tour title, after winning the European Masters last weekend, shooting 19 under par through 72 holes.
Donald’s decision to put his faith in a breakthrough rookie has come at the expense of Meronk who has won the Irish, Australian and Italian Opens in the past 14 months and has five other top 10 finishes to his name.
The Polish star’s Italian Open success also came at the Ryder Cup’s host venue, the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, but it proved to be not enough for inclusion in Team Europe’s final 12.
Explaining his selection choices during his announcement on Monday, former World No 1 Donald said: “I wanted a balance of youth and experience with my picks. We’ll have a plan of action for success. We have some great talents and some experience in the 12. It’s a great make-up. I couldn’t be more happy.”
Following the announcement of Donald’s finalised team, Meronk posted a simple message on Instagram. He simply wrote: “Good luck @teameurope.”
The 30-year-old’s frustration at missing out on what would arguably have been the highlight of his career is heightened by the fact that he only missed out on automatic qualification by 170 points behind Robert MacIntyre in the European points list.
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Only two players are above Meronk in the DP World Tour Rankings this season – Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
Instead, the disappointed Pole will now turn his attention to defending his Irish Open title at the K Club this week.
Speaking about the players who narrowly missed out on making it into the European team, Donald added: “There were a number of players that you could make a good argument to be on that team that aren’t. Those are difficult decisions.
“I’ve been in that position myself – I know what it feels like and it’s gut-wrenching. I spoke to them all and it’s never easy but they handled it with class.”
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