Just days ahead of the 2019 Presidents Cup, the International team has suffered a significant loss as Australian Jason Day has withdrawn from the event due to a back injury. He will also miss the upcoming Australian Open.
Captain Ernie Els on Friday replaced Day with Ben An from South Korea.
The 31st-ranked player in the world and a veteran of four Presidents Cups, Day was an captain’s pick for Els. Though he did not play exceedingly well in 2019, the hope was that Day would bounce back and his experience and local expertise — the Presidents Cup is being played in Melbourne, Australia — would make him a key cog for a team going up against a strong squad from the United States.
“We were eager to have Jason as part of the team at Royal Melbourne, and his experience will be missed,” Els said. “The good news is that there were a number of strong and qualified players available to choose from when I made my captain’s selections. To have someone as steady and talented as Ben An puts us in a great position to succeed. Ben played extremely well this fall and throughout the year and he will fit in nicely on this team.”
The top eight players on the International team are Marc Leishman, Hideki Matuyama, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Abraham Ancer, Li Haotong, Pan Cheng-tsung and Cameron Smith. The top eight on the United States team are Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.
The Americans lost their best golfer due to withdrawal as Brooks Koepka, the No. 1 player in the world, had to pull out of the event due to a knee injury. He was replaced by Rickie Fowler. Tiger Woods is serving as a playing captain for the team.