Poland’s Adrian Meronk is superbly channelling his bitter Ryder Cup selection snub into a hopeful BMW PGA Championship victory at Wentworth.
Meronk, 30, posted a four-under second 68 in muscling his way to within a shot of the lead on day two of the DP World Tour’s flagship event over the famed ‘Burma Road’ course in leafy Surrey.
Meronk capped his round eagling the par-5 12th hole and while the now World No. 50 dropped shots at the 13th and 17th holes, he birdied the 18th for a second day running in finishing at nine-under.
The three-time Tour winner, and who went so close to victory at the recent Omega European Masters, is sharing third place and tied with Belgium’s Thomas Detry (68), Tommy Fleetwood (66) and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura (65) at nine-under.
Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg (64) and Ryder Cup sensation Ludvig Aberg (66) head the field at 10-under when poor light halted play and leaving many players still to complete their rounds due to a fog delay to the start of play. World No. 2 Rory McIlroy signed for a second round 71 to be sharing 61st place and right on the one-under cut-off mark.
It was near on a fortnight ago that in-form Meronk, who has captured two of his three Tour titles during the 2023 qualifying period was over-looked for a ‘wildcard’ pick in favor of new Swiss champion Ludvig Aberg also Norwegian Nicolai Hojgaard, despite having captured the 2023 Italian Open on next fortnight’s host course
And now Meronk is doing his best to prove Luke Donald wrong in not affording the much in-form Pole a place in Europe’s side.
“I am very motivated,” he said. “I am trying to turn that disappointment and anger into fuel. I have a great team around me. We just keep going”.
And while Meronk did not win the favour of Donald in earning a European Ryder Cup cap, the out-pouring of support from BMW PGA Championship fans is helping inspire Meronk to success at Tour HQ.
“I have been getting a lot of support,” Meronk said in speaking with Golf Digest.
“It’s been unbelievable to be honest. From the players. From coaches. From staff. From spectators. It’s been very encouraging.
“Today, I had people shouting to me in Polish, saying I should be on the team, I deserved it, I’m good enough. I know all that. It doesn’t really matter now though. But it’s nice to have that support from so many different people.
Meronk also had some advice for perhaps the selection process for the 2025 European Team picks.
“I do think six picks is too many,” Meronk said.
“I would say four is reasonable. I think leaving one or two picks for the big tournaments at the end is a good idea. They picked the team after four weeks of a break then two small events. At least one spot should be reserved for this week.”
Meronk’s advice with regards a final European Team pick being made following the BMW PGA Championship does have merit.
However, all Meronk can do now is go out over the weekend and do his utmost to capture Tour win no. 4, and a victory that would surely see him ensure himself a second straight end-of-year ‘top-50 in the world’ Masters invitation.