Brooks Koepka, the number one ranked player in the world, has withdrawn from the U.S. Presidents Cup team with a knee injury.
“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.”
Playing Captain, Tiger Woods took very little time in naming his replacement.
“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 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.”
Woods chose Rickie Fowler, who, in my opinion, is a great option for the team for too many reasons to list.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 20, 2019
“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.”
For those wondering why Kevin Kisner wasn’t considered, I’m not entirely sure. Fowler hasn’t played in an event since the TOUR Championship while Kisner has played in three (Zozo Championship, WGC-HSBC Champions, and Mayakoba Classic).
Fowler’s participation in team events over the course of his career was probably the reason he was picked.
Rickie Fowler Presidents Cup Information
PGA TOUR Wins: 5
Presidents Cup: 2 (2015, 2017) / 4-3-1 record
2018/19 Highlights: Won fifth PGA TOUR title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Recorded second consecutive and third career top-10 at the Masters Tournament, tying Patrick Cantlay and Jon Rahm for ninth. Recorded six top-10 finishes on the season in which he reached the TOUR Championship for the fifth consecutive time.
Notable: Finished 11th in the final Presidents Cup standings when the top eight earned a spot on the team. Was undefeated in his last appearance at the 2017 Presidents Cup with a record of 3-0-1. Went 2-0-1 when paired with Justin Thomas that year and won his Singles match against Emiliano Grillo.
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.