Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the U.S. Presidents Cup team; Tiger Woods selects Rickie Fowler as replacement
World No.1 Brooks Koepka has been forced to withdraw from the U.S. Presidents Cup team with an ongoing knee injury, and has been replaced by Rickie Fowler.
Koepka, who qualified first in the USA's team standings, was forced to withdraw following the second round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges after reinjuring his left knee by slipping on wet concrete.
He then flew back to the United States for treatment, having previously undergone stem cell treatment for a torn patella on the same knee after the Tour Championship, and remained an injury doubt for the upcoming Presidents Cup.
Today, he announced that his knee needs more time to heal, and he has pulled out of the biennial contest against Ernie Els' International side in Australia next month.
“Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the U.S. Presidents Cup Team because of my knee injury," Koepka said in a statement.
"I notified Captain Tiger Woods that despite constant medical care and rehab, I am not able to play golf at this time. I consider it to be a high honor to be part of the 2019 team and I regret not being able to compete.
"Since my injury in Korea, I have been in constant contact with Tiger and assured him that I was making every effort to be 100 percent in time for the Presidents Cup in Australia. However, I need more time to heal.
"I’m sorry I won’t be able to represent the Red, White and Blue this time around and I wish my teammates nothing but the best as they work to retain the Presidents Cup for the USA."
Captain Tiger Woods said that he was disappointed, but spoke to Rickie Fowler, who has agreed to join the team for a third time.
"Brooks and I talked, and he's disappointed that he won't be able to compete," said Woods. "I told him to get well soon, and that we're sorry he won't be with us in Australia. He would clearly be an asset both on the course and in the team room.
"I spoke to Rickie and he has agreed to join the U.S. Team," Woods continued. "Rickie has played on a couple Presidents Cup teams, was someone seriously considered for a pick and is well respected and liked by his teammates. I know he's going to do a great job for us. We're all excited about this year's event. The course is outstanding, the fans will be loud and we're playing against great competitors. We're ready to go."
Fowler, who has played on two previous Presidents Cup sides, finished in 11th place in the standings, but was not selected as one of the four original wildcard picks.
"When I heard Brooks wasn't going to be ready to play, I was bummed for him and the team," Fowler said.
"Then I got a call from both Brooks and Tiger. I was humbled and excited to be given the chance. These team events have been some of the most memorable weeks of my career. To be picked by Tiger to compete with him and the rest of the team is very special. It is impossible to replace the world's No. 1, but I can assure my teammates and American golf fans that I will be prepared and ready to do my part to bring home the Presidents Cup."
The 2019 Presidents Cup will take place at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club from Dec. 9-15
Presidents Cup U.S. Team
Presidents Cup International Team