Los Angeles (AFP) - South Korean An Byeong-hun will make his Presidents Cup debut at Royal Melbourne after Australian Jason Day withdrew from the International team with a back injury.
Day, who was selected to a fifth Presidents Cup team as a captain's pick by International skipper Ernie Els, said he would miss both the Australian Open in Sydney and the Presidents Cup after hurting his back while practicing in Palm Springs, California.
"Frustratingly, I've been through back problems before and my medical team decided it best to shut down all practice and play," he said in a statement posted on the Presidents Cup website.
Els promptly replaced him with An, who has enjoyed a strong start to the 2019-20 US PGA Tour season with a third-place finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship and two more top-10 finishes.
"To have someone as steady and talented as Ben An puts us in a great position to succeed," Els said. "Ben played extremely well this fall and throughout the year and he will fit in nicely on this team."
An becomes the second South Korean on the International team, joining 2019 US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Im Sung-jae.
The International team will take on the US team led by playing captain Tiger Woods at Royal Melbourne from December 12-15 in the biennial match play showdown.