World No. 39 calls in sick to PGA Tour. Is LIV Golf his next stop?

World No. 39 Adrian Meronk withdrew from the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open. Is LIV Golf his next stop?

The post World No. 39 calls in sick to PGA Tour. Is LIV Golf his next stop? appeared first on Golf.

World No. 39 Adrian Meronk withdrew from the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open. Is LIV Golf his next stop?

The post World No. 39 calls in sick to PGA Tour. Is LIV Golf his next stop? appeared first on Golf.

Adrian Meronk called in sick. At about 9 a.m. ET Wednesday, he posted the news to his Instagram story, along with what appeared to be a picture of his data from Whoop, a fitness tracker. 

Around that time, his place of work also confirmed that he wouldn’t be coming in.

“Adrian Meronk WD before the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open,” tweeted the communications department of the PGA Tour. “Erik Barnes is now in.”

And then came the speculation. 

Followed by the reports. 

Meronk may be out. He may be off to LIV Golf. 

He may not be alone, either. 

As first reported by the Times’ Tom Kershaw and later reported by Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig, Meronk will join LIV ahead of the Saudi-backed league’s season-opener next week — meaning he will likely be suspended from the PGA Tour, without never having played a round as an official Tour member. The 30-year-old who grew up in Poland received his Tour card last year after finishing in the top 10 in the season-long points race on the DP World Tour.  

It was there where Meronk won three times last season, and, while he was left off the European Ryder Cup team, he was voted by his peers as the DP World Tour’s player of the year. Last week, he finished second at the DP World Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic, and on Monday, he moved to a personal-best 39th in the world golf rankings

Then, according to Golf Digest’s Evin Priest, Meronk flew out of Dubai, checked into a hotel — and withdrew from the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open ahead of Wednesday’s first round. Kershaw reported that Meronk’s agent would not comment, while Meronk posted the Whoop picture to his Instagram story, along with a post that read: “Unfortunately I have to withdraw from @farmersinsopen due to illness.”

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But later Wednesday, Kershaw and Harig then reported that Meronk would join LIV, as a part of the Martin Kaymer-captained Cleeks team. 

Notably, though, there are additional spots open on LIV, including on the potential team guided by Jon Rahm, who surprised the golf world early last month and left the PGA Tour. And according to both Kershaw and Harig, LIV may be making a run at a player who just last week offered a pledge — though it sounded lukewarm — to stay on the PGA Tour: 

World No. 16 Tyrrell Hatton. 

Hatton memorably teamed with Rahm twice last year as part of the winning European Ryder Cup squad, and his name has surfaced in regards to joining the Spaniard with LIV. Last week, though, with the Scotsman’s Martin Dempster, Hatton had this exchange:

“I’d say there’s several people who have had conversations,” Hatton said of LIV talks. “I think that’s part and parcel of golf at the moment, but I’m quite happy playing the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.”

Has he had those conversations? 

“I’ve just said that,” Hatton told Dempster. “There’s a lot of people who have and I don’t think there is anything to shy away from.” 

But is he staying put? 

“As of right now, yeah,” Hatton told Dempster.

Adrian Meronk was on the outside looking in for Team Europe.

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Hatton also played in Dubai last week, tying for 31st, but he’s not in the field for the Farmers Insurance Open. On Wednesday, officials at the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Open said that Hatton had committed to that event, to be played in two weeks. 

Of course, all of this goes down as the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund — LIV Golf’s backer — continue to negotiate a funding deal. Now, the Meronk and Hatton reports at least raise some questions, mainly: 

— Does this indicate at all where the negotiations are headed?

— Does this mean at all that LIV Golf will be around for a while?

For now, we know this:

— The Farmers Insurance Open’s second round starts Thursday. Meronk won’t be there. 

— LIV’s season opener starts next Friday in Mexico. Unless he’s still sick, Meronk will reportedly be there. Hatton might be too. 

The post World No. 39 calls in sick to PGA Tour. Is LIV Golf his next stop? appeared first on Golf.

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