A knee injury has forced the withdrawal of world number one Brooks Koepka from the U.S. President's Cup team.
Tiger Woods is captaining the American's in the tournament against an international side at Royal Melbourne in Australia beginning December 12th.
Five-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler is the man drafted in by Woods to replace Koepka, who has won four majors in the last two years.
Announcing the news Koepka said in a statement that he is disappointed at not being able to take part.
“Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the U.S. Presidents Cup Team because of my knee injury. 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.”
USA Presidents Cup announcement...https://t.co/DWlQqqEzl0 pic.twitter.com/C64EoracLr
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) November 20, 2019
Captain Woods, who has picked himself among the 12-strong American side, said missing a player of Koepka's calibre is certainly a blow.
“Brooks and I talked, and he’s disappointed that he won’t be able to compete. 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.”
It's a third time on the U.S. President's Cup team for Fowler, and Woods said he was the obvious choice to fill in.
“I spoke to Rickie and he has agreed to join the U.S. Team. 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.”
Thirty-year-old Fowler added he was excited to get the call-up, but acknowledged Koepka's absence.
“When I heard Brooks wasn’t going to be ready to play, I was bummed for him and the team. 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.”