Rickie Fowler has withdrawn from next week’s Mayakoba Classic near Cancun, Mexico, due to an intestinal bacterial infection that he contracted while on his recent honeymoon.
Fowler, who has not played since the Tour Championship in August and was not chosen by captain Tiger Woods on Thursday to be part of the U.S. Presidents Cup team, said in a statement that he didn’t feel prepared to compete at the PGA Tour event.
“I am taking medicine prescribed by my physician,” Fowler said. “But am not at full strength yet. As a result, I am ill-prepared to compete next week.”
Reached by Golfweek, Fowler said via text he came down with the infection called Campylobacter jejuni, leading to cramps, fever and pain. Fowler was married in early October and said the infection hit him toward the end of the vacation. He only began feeling better a few days ago.
“It was not a fun stretch,” Fowler said.
Ranked 21st in the world, Fowler, a veteran of U.S. Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams, was left off this year’s team in what Woods said was his “toughest” decision when he added four at-large picks for his team that will compete next month in Australia.
But Fowler, who is scheduled to play in Woods’ Hero World Challenge the week prior to the Presidents Cup, is believed to be the captain’s first choice should No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka be unable to play. Koepka has a knee issue and is not scheduled to play prior to the Presidents Cup.
Woods could also choose Kevin Kisner or Kevin Na to fill a position vacated by Koepka. No decision is necessary until Dec. 11, the day before the competition begins, although Woods said he expects to make a call prior to heading to Australia.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we cross it,” Woods said of Koepka. “All I can tell you is he’s rehabbing and he’s trying to get better, trying to get ready and we’ll let him focus on that. Just let him do that and put energy into that, and when you start playing golf, let me know. Your rehab comes first before golf, and just keep me abreast of what the process is.”