European Ryder Cup reject Adrian Meronk opened with a solid 5-under 67 in the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and then told the media he saw it coming after draining eight birdies in a row in the Wednesday Pro-Am.
Meronk, who won the Italian Open on the Ryder Cup golf course at Marco Simone earlier this season, was the shock omission from Luke Donald's six captain's picks in the European Ryder Cup team last week.
Meronk told the media last week he "just stopped listening" to what Donald was saying to him as soon as he had been told he had failed to make the team.
He was bidding to become the first ever Pole to make a Ryder Cup.
But after dusting himself down with a T23 following a difficult and emotional week as defending champion at the Irish Open last week, Meronk is out with a point to prove once more in the DP World Tour's flagship event of the season at Wentworth this week.
Meronk told the media today how he made eight birdies in a row during the BMW PGA Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday.
He then rattled in eight birdies in Thursday's first round at the BMW PGA Championship during a 5-under 67.
Meronk bogeyed the 1st but then charged into contention with birdies on 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 16 only to hand two shots back on the par-5 17th when finding trouble off the tee in the trees down the left side.
He would, however, two-putt for birdie on the par-5 18th to move into T4.
Meronk said after the round:
Denmark's Marcus Helligkilde raced to the top of the board in the first round with and impressive 8-under 64 featuring 10 birdies.
The same could not be said for his compatriot and one of Donald's wildcards Nicolai Hojgaard, however, who carded a dismal 4-over 76.
While Hojgaard's debut in the European Ryder Cup team is of course safe, his opening round at Wentworth, certainly in comparison to Meronk's, will likely give Donald something of a headache tonight.
Adrian Meronk made eight birdies in a row in the BMW PGA Pro-Am, and then carded a 5-under 67 in R1. Nicolai Hojgaard meanwhile just shot a 76. Surely Luke Donald is having regrets?!— Andy Roberts (@AndyRobertsGolf) September 14, 2023
Of Donald's other picks, Aberg continued to impress with a 68, which was one stroke better than Lowry and Fleetwood.
Straka struck a 70, while Rose carded a 72.
Elsewhere in the team, Matt Fitzpatrick performed best with a 6-under 66 to move into a tie for second place.
Donald is also competing this week and started well with a 70.
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