The number one ranked player in the World, Brooks Koepka, has been forced to withdraw from the Presidents Cup in December due to a knee injury.
The announcement was made this morning by the US Team Playing Captain Tiger Woods who has named Rickie Fowler as Koepka’s replacement in the event to be held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club from December 9.
Koepka had revealed he had stem cell treatment on his left patella after his knee had been bothering him for the five months leading up to mid-season. Then at the CJ Championships in South Korea last month, his right foot hit a wet piece of concrete and he landed hard on his left knee for support.
He shot 75 and withdrew after the round, returning to Florida for treatment and has not spoken publicly since until today’s withdrawal.
“Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the U.S. Presidents Cup Team because of my knee injury,” Brooks 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 honour 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 per cent 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.”
Rickie Fowler will now play for the third time on the U.S. Team following a strong showing in 2017 at Liberty National where he was undefeated with a 3-0-1 record.
“I spoke to Rickie and he has agreed to join the U.S. Team,” Tiger Woods said.
“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.”
When Fowler heard that Koepka wasn’t going to be right to play he was disappointed for the team but excited to get the call from the US Team Captain Woods.
“These team events have been some of the most memorable weeks of my career,” said Fowler.
“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.”