Recent US Olympian Rickie Fowler has replaced Bubba Watson as the top player to represent the United States at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne in November.
Fowler quickly chose reigning PGA Champion Jimmy Walker to be his partner in the two-man team competition to be played at Kingston Heath Golf Club from November 23 to 27.
Watson had expressed his desire to play on the US Team for some time and while he was excited to represent his country and play in Australia, he ultimately changed his mind due to scheduling and personal reasons.
“It was a very difficult choice not to play in the World Cup of Golf,” Watson said. “I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to represent my country and to play in Australia, a place where I have always enjoyed playing golf.
“Rickie and Jimmy will do a great job as a team and I wish them the best.”
Fowler and Walker will both be playing in the World Cup of Golf for the first time. Fowler, a three-time champion on the PGA Tour has also won events on the European Tour and the Asian Tour. He begins the FedExCup Playoffs this week at No. 28 in the standings with seven top-10 finishes.
Walker and Fowler were paired together twice at The Presidents Cup in 2015, most notably winning over Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee 5 & 4.
“Coming off the amazing experience that I had at the Olympics, it’s great to have the chance to put on the red, white and blue again and play for the United States in the World Cup of Golf,” Fowler said. “Jimmy is not only one of my favorite guys out here on Tour, but he is clearly one of the most talented players on our Tour as well. I think we’ll make a fantastic team and our strengths will work well together. I’ve heard great things about Kingston Heath and can’t wait to get to Australia.”
In other player news, Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo has also withdrawn from the event and after Andres Romero chose not to commit, CT Pan of Chinese Taipei committed as the next player to qualify. In 1972, Hsieh Min-Nan and Lu Liang-Huan won the World Cup of Golf for Chinese Taipei in Australia.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee has confirmed his selection of Olympic teammate Ryan Fox as his partner for the 58th edition of the event. Lee, a three-time winner internationally, finished T20 in his only previous appearance at the World Cup of Golf in 2009.
The top players from the 28 qualifying countries committed to the event on August 16 and have until August 26 to officially choose their playing partners. Already, the field for the World Cup of Golf in 2016 has a number of golf’s biggest names joining Fowler and Walker including defending champions Jason Day and Adam Scott, England’s Danny Willett and Lee Westwood and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
The 2016 tournament will return to a 72-hole, stroke play, two-man team event format. The first and third days of competition will be the foursomes (alternate shot) format and the second and final days are fourball (best ball) play.
Tickets and hospitality packages starting at $30 are now available by visiting the World Cup of Golf website at www.WorldCupofGolf.com.