Day pulls out of Presidents Cup with back injury

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Australian Jason Day has withdrawn from the International Presidents Cup team due to a back injury, with captain Ernie Els replacing him with South Korean golfer Ben An.

Day, a former No. 1-ranked player in the world who won the 2015 PGA Championship, had been selected by Els as one of his at-large picks after a disappointing season that has seen him drop to No. 31 in the world. Day’s last top-10 finish was a tie for eighth at the Travelers Championship in June.

The injury also knocks day out of next week’s Australian Open in Sydney. Day had been practicing in the Palm Springs, California area to get ready for both tournaments. Day has played in four Presidents Cups.

“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 players from South Korea along with Sunjae Im, who was the PGA Tour rookie of the year.

All 12 members of the U.S. team, including playing captain Tiger Woods, will compete in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas next week before heading to Australia for the Presidents Cup, which begins Dec. 12.

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