ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Charles Howell III just happened to be the first player to visit the RSM Classic media center following Wednesday’s news that U.S. Presidents Cup captain Tiger Woods had selected Rickie Fowler to replace Brooks Koepka on this year’s team.
“Did he pick Rickie?” Howell asked when told that Koepka had to withdrawal from the matches with a knee injury.
It was a common reaction from players at Sea Island Resort when they were told that the world’s top-ranked player won’t make the trip next month to Royal Melbourne.
“It's extremely unfortunate. No. 1 player in the world on your team and he can't play?” said Zach Johnson, one of Woods’ three vice captains. “There's nothing positive about that. It's an injury, nothing positive about that.”
There was, however, plenty of support for Fowler as the late addition to the team.
“Rickie loves the stage. A lot like a Phil Mickelson or now hanging around Kevin Kisner some, there's some guys that like to walk out on the final green and make that putt, they want the ball with no time on the clock and Rickie's that guy,” Davis Love III said. “It's unfortunate for Brooks, but I think they picked up an all-around team guy both playing and in the team room, so I'm excited for him.”