U.S. team captain Tiger Woods chose Rickie Fowler to replace Koepka on the 12-man team following the announcement. The tournament begins Dec. 12 in Australia and the U.S. has won the past seven matches.
Koepka withdraws due to knee injury
Koepka’s knee injury has been a concern since he withdrew from the CJ Cup in South Korea last month after slipping on wet concrete. The No. 1 ranked player in the world underwent a painful knee procedure using stem cell treatment after the Tour Championship in August.
He made it official Wednesday with three weeks until the first day of the tournament. Via ESPN:
"Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the USA 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% 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."
Koepka finished first in points for the team in the qualifying rounds.
Fowler will get 3rd
Woods asked Fowler, ranked No. 21 in the world, to take the empty spot on the U.S. team. It is his third time playing in the Presidents Cup (2015, 2017). In the last go he went 3-0-1 with the second-most points in the U.S. team’s major victory.
Fowler on being added to the team, via Golf Digest:
“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.”
Fowler, 30, also competed on two Ryder Cup teams (2010, 2014). It will be his sixth consecutive team event, per Golf Digest. 3-0-1 at the 2017 Presidents Cup, compiling the second-most points in the Americans' steamroll victory.
His 2018-19 PGA Tour resume consists of six top-10 finishes. He last competed in August and took time for his wedding, honeymoon and illness.
The International team is composed of Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer, Haotong Li, C.T. Pan, Cameron Smith, Jason Day, Joaquin Niemann, Adam Hadwin and Sungjae Im.
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