SAN ROQUE, Spain — Adrian Meronk wanted to show his worth after not making the Ryder Cup. He proved some of his doubters wrong Sunday by winning the Andalucia Masters for his third European tour victory of the season.
After the disappointment of not being picked for the European team that defeated the United States in Rome three weeks ago, Meronk overcame two bogeys in his first three holes to shoot a final-round 6-under 66. He finished at 16 under for the tournament to earn a 1-stroke win over Matti Schmid (71) at the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in southern Spain.
Meronk followed up the slow start by making two eagles on the front nine, including a hole-out from 121 yards on the par-4 ninth hole. He had four birdies on the back nine, including one on the par-3 17th to take over the lead for good.
It was a win to help prove a point after the Ryder Cup snub.
“Well, I hope so,” the 30-year-old from Poland said. “I’m just glad the Ryder Cup and all the talks about it are over. I can just focus on my game and keep going forward, and whoever doubted me, I hope I can prove them wrong.”
Meronk became the first three-time winner this season on the European tour. His fourth victory overall on the DP World Tour will move him to third in the Race to Dubai.
“It was a tough tournament, tough weather, didn’t have my best golf on the first day, so to win the tournament is very special. I’m over the moon,” said Meronk, who opened with an even-par 72 on Thursday. “I didn’t get off to a hot start, I was trying to talk to myself, stay positive. I was hitting good shots on the range in the morning, so I knew I had the game.”
Richard Mansell of England finished 2 shots off the lead after bogeying the 17th hole to close with a 4-under 68. Joint third-round leader Schmid, who like Mansell was seeking a first win on the European tour, bogeyed the 16th hole and missed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have forced a playoff with Meronk.
American Chase Hanna shot a bogey-free 66 to finish at 13 under in a tie for fourth place, securing his European tour card for next season.
“It’s been a long year,” he said. “Been waiting for a round like today, and it’s special to have it when it meant as much as it did today.”
U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark closed with a 2-over 74 to finish at 1 under for the tournament in a tie for 56th. Matt Kuchar (67) tied for 19th after ending at 8 under for the tournament. He was a shot in front of Robert MacIntyre (72).
It was the final tournament of the year in continental Europe. The tour next goes to South Africa, followed by the season-ending tournament in Dubai.