Koepka Out; Fowler In for Team USA at Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup (Photo: Stan Badz)

Some golf fans will get their wish to see Rickie Fowler play in the 2019 Presidents Cup. Unfortunately, it comes at the loss of Brooks Koepka, who announced his withdrawal from the December event today due to continuing issues with his knee.

Koepka was the No. 1-ranked player for the heavily favoured U.S. squad slated to face off against the Internationals on December 9-15 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia.

“Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the U.S. Presidents Cup Team because of my knee injury,” said Koepka in a statement to the media. “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.”

Keopka says the decision did not come as a surprise, as he and the Team Captain, Tiger Woods, had been touching base about the situation.

“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.”

A Missing Asset

The Playing Captain for Team USA shared his disappointment of not having Brooks on the team, which would have been his 2nd appearance in the event, but wished him the best in his recovery.

“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.”

Well-Respected Replacement

In light of the situation Woods will look to Rickie Fowler to take up the vacant spot. Fowler had a 3-0-1 record at the 2017 Presidents Cup held in New Jersey.

“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.” 

Obviously, Fowler, now a 5-time PGA TOUR winner and a veteran of two Presidents Cups, is delighted at the opportunity.

“When I heard Brooks wasn’t going to be ready to play, I was bummed for him and the team,” said Fowler. “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.”