Jason Day has withdrawn from the 2019 Presidents Cup, citing a back injury which will preclude him from competing on Ernie Els’ International team at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in December.
Els has named Korean Byeong-hun An as Day’s replacement.
“We wish Jason well and hope his back recovers quickly. 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.”
Day was a captain’s pick of Els’, the first man out of the top eight qualifiers on the international qualifying list. Day has also withdrawn from the Australian Open, played leading into the Presidents Cup.
“I’m quite disappointed I won’t be coming home to play in either the Australian Open in Sydney or the Presidents Cup the following week in Melbourne,” Day said. “I was quite looking forward to both events. I had been prepping all week in Palm Springs when I was injured. Frustratingly, I’ve been through back problems before and my medical team decided it best to shut down all practice and play. Therefore, I wanted to inform Golf Australia as well as provide Ernie as much time as possible to best prepare our International Team for Royal Melbourne. I look forward to playing at home in the near future. My best to all the competitors in Sydney and my teammates in Melbourne.”
An effectively becomes the second Korean captain’s pick, joining PGA Tour 2019 Rookie of the Year Sungjae Im. Adam Hadwin of Canada and Joaquin Niemann of Chile are the other two wild-card selections.
Finishing 15th in qualifying, An will now make his first Presidents Cup appearance, bringing the total number of rookies on Els’ team to seven.