Brooks Koepka has been forced to withdraw from next month’s Presidents Cup through injury.
Captain Tiger Woods quickly filled the opening with Rickie Fowler who narrowly missed out on a captain’s pick himself.
The World No.1 injured his knee ahead of the CJ Cup in October and has been unable to return to action since.
He made his Presidents Cup debut in 2017 and looked set to be a key player this time around having picked up two points last time.
Koepka addressed his withdrawal, saying: “I am announcing my withdrawal from the US 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 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 percent in time for the Presidents Cup in Australia. However, I need more time to heal.
“I’m sorry I wont 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.”
Woods was spoilt for choice when it came to suitable candidates for his captain’s picks and admitted it was tough to leave Fowler out.
Speaking about the change, Woods said: “Brooks and I talked, and he’s disappointed that he won’t be able to compete. 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.”
Fowler has represented the US in the last two Presidents Cups and was unbeaten in 2017 when on the winning side at Liberty National.