Koepka out of Presidents Cup with knee injury

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Brooks Koepka announced Wednesday he is withdrawing from the Presidents Cup with a knee injury, with US captain Tiger Woods promptly selecting Rickie Fowler for the vacant spot.

"Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the US Presidents Cup Team because of my knee injury," Koepka said in a statement that was posted on the US PGA Tour website.

"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."

World number one Koepka, who had stem cell treatment on his left knee after the Tour Championship, pulled out of the CJ Cup in South Korea after aggravating the injury when he slipped on a cart path.

He said he had been in constant contact with Woods since then, but now realized he needed "more time to heal."

Woods wasted no time in selecting Fowler to a third Presidents Cup team. Fowler was undefeated -- winning three matches and halving one -- in the United States' win over the International team in the 2017 edition of the match play showdown at Liberty National in New Jersey.

"I spoke to Rickie and he has agreed to join the US Team," Woods said in comments posted on the tour website. "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."

The United States will take on the International team captained by Ernie Els at Royal Melbourne from December 12-15.