Day pulls out of Presidents Cup with back injury

Former World No. 1 golfer Jason Day has withdrawn from the International team in the Presidents Cup due to a back injury.

International team captain Ernie Els tabbed Byeong Hun An of South Korea as the replacement for the Australian, who said he was practicing in California when he aggravated the injury.

The Presidents Cup begins on Dec. 12 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia from Dec. 9-15.

“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 via a statement.

“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.”

Day had been selected by Els as one of his at-large picks despite being winless since early 2018. The 32-year-old managed just one top-10 finish after the Masters last season.

“We were eager to have Jason as part of the team at Royal Melbourne and his experience will be missed,” Els said in a statement. “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.”

An gives the International team two golfers from South Korea along with Sungjae Im, who was the PGA Tour rookie of the year.

“I’m sorry to hear that Jason has been forced to withdraw from the International Team and I wish him a speedy recovery. It was a huge surprise to receive a call from Ernie who told me that I was in the team,” An said.

“It has been a goal of mine all season to be on the International Team and I am honored to play in my first Presidents Cup. I’m looking forward to joining Ernie and the rest of the team in Melbourne and, more importantly, contribute to the International Team’s goal to win the Cup.”

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