Understandably, Meronk was crushed, a lot in order that he decided to join LIV Golf in January 2024.
“I don’t know, however I might most likely not have come to LIV if I had performed within the Ryder Cup,” Meronk mentioned to James Corrigan of Telegraph Sport.
“What occurred positively made my selection simpler. What I went by way of made it simpler to care extra about myself and never care what different folks consider me or what different folks need me to do.”
Instantly after Donald unveiled his squad, Meronk admitted feeling “shocked” and “indignant” forward of final 12 months’s Irish Open.
“To be trustworthy, when [Donald] mentioned I’m not going, I type of stopped listening,” Meronk mentioned on Sept. 6, 2023.
“I simply didn’t pay attention a lot, to be trustworthy. He was saying that somebody needed to keep house. It was shut, clearly, and stuff like that. Clearly, I wouldn’t need to be in his place. I knew it was robust for him. However yeah, it was a giant shock, and I didn’t actually focus after that.”
Certainly, Meronk targeted on his golf recreation instantly after that. He went on to win the Andalucía Masters in October, proving doubters that he belonged amongst Europe’s elite tier.
The 30-year-old Pole continued to play nicely when the calendar flipped from 2023 to 2024, as he had a powerful displaying in Australia in December and performed nicely in Dubai in January. He tied for tenth on the Dubai Invitational after which completed solo second to Rory McIlroy at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Then, he spurned the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour—the place he earned his 2024 card—for LIV Golf.
“What occurred with the Ryder Cup simply opened my eyes as to how every part works,” Meronk mentioned.
“Particularly when you find yourself an expert athlete, it isn’t your complete life. It’s important to make it possible for your loved ones is nice and that you’re good and feeling good.”
Regardless of the success that surrounded Meronk all through 2023, he typically felt empty, as he admitted to not having fun with life as an expert golfer.
“Folks will say this transfer is all concerning the cash, however what’s simply as necessary is the lighter schedule,” Meronk mentioned.
“The final two years, I had actually nice years, however to be trustworthy, I wasn’t having fun with it as a lot. I used to be simply always on the street. We didn’t have a correct house, simply packing from lodge to lodge, airport to airport.”
Meronk crisscrossed the world in 2023, taking part in in Dubai, Southern California, Florida, Korea, Italy, Rochester, and Holland—all earlier than the U.S. Open on the Los Angeles Nation Membership.
“I used to be sitting with my dad and mom and my girlfriend throughout Christmas, and I used to be simply saying, ‘Yeah, I had an awesome 12 months, however I didn’t actually take pleasure in it,’” Meronk mirrored.
“I keep in mind once I received in Italy final Could, waking up on the Monday, and saying, ‘Okay, nice, I received the match. However now I’ve to start out once more, go to a brand new course, and get my routine going once more. The place is the enjoyment?’”
Now, Meronk faces a extra manageable schedule with LIV Golf.
After the Hero Dubai Desert Traditional in mid-January, Meronk made his LIV debut final week in Mayakoba, Mexico, the place he completed at 5-over total, placing him in forty seventh.
LIV Golf is in Las Vegas this week, competing alongside the Tremendous Bowl. After this occasion, the circuit will take a hiatus earlier than heading to Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong in early March.
That ought to give Meronk loads of time to relaxation, recuperate, and observe.
Regardless of this, the 30-year-old has not overlooked his final purpose: representing Europe at Bethpage Black in 2025.
“Clearly, I didn’t like how I used to be handled final time, but when it’s potential to play within the Ryder Cup and if I’m ok, I might like to be on the group,” Meronk mentioned.
“I’ll simply work exhausting on my recreation, carry out at my finest and see what can occur.”
Who is aware of what the European Ryder Cup group will appear to be in 2025. Maybe skilled golf will probably be united then. Maybe not.
Both method, Meronk nonetheless carries the burden of being snubbed this previous fall, as evidenced by his resolution to hitch LIV.
Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By way of. Be sure you take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @jack_milko as nicely.