Rickie Fowler was called into the US team to face the Internationals in next month’s Presidents Cup following Brooks Koepka’s knee injury.
Fowler, who won his fifth PGA TOUR title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, will play for the third time on the US Team following a strong showing – as a partner to Justin Thomas – 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,’ said US captain Tiger Woods.
‘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 reaffirmed that Koepka should place his priority on getting fit rather than risking his health to make his second appearance following his 2017 debut.
Koepka, who qualified first on the US team, confirmed he had lost to his race to get fit for Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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.’
Fowler was sympathetic towards Koepka but is ready to take his chance.
‘When I heard Brooks wasn’t going to be ready to play, I was bummed for him and the team,’ he 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.’