Rickie Fowler’s season debut will have to wait a bit longer.
Fowler withdrew from next week’s Mayakoba Classic in Mexico on Saturday due to a lingering intestinal bacterial infection he contracted on his honeymoon, according to ESPN. He has not played since the Tour Championship in August, and was not selected to join the United States team for next month’s Presidents Cup.
“I am taking medicine prescribed by my physician,” Fowler said, via ESPN. “But am not at full strength yet. As a result, I am ill-prepared to compete next week.”
Fowler married longtime girlfriend Allison Stokke last month, and took off on their honeymoon shortly after. He told Golfweek that he contracted Campylobacter jejuni near the end of their honeymoon, a common infection that reportedly led to cramps, fever, pain and diarrhea.
“It was not a fun stretch,” Fowler texted Golfweek.
Fowler had six top-10 finishes on Tour last season — including a T9 finish at The Masters and a T6 finish at The Open Championship — and picked up his fifth career win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. He’s currently ranked No. 21 in the World Golf Rankings.
While Tiger Woods, the United States team captain, didn’t select Fowler for his Presidents Cup team, Fowler is expected to be a top replacement option for Brooks Koepka should Koepka not be able to play.
Koepka, the current No. 1-ranked golfer, is still battling a knee injury he had a stem-cell procedure on this offseason. He re-aggravated the injury at The CJ Cup in South Korea last month, too, after slipping on wet concrete.
Koepka still has time to make his decision before the Presidents Cup kicks off on December 12 at Royal Melbourne in Australia, but Woods isn’t pushing him.
“I told [Koepka] to take his time. No hurry,” Woods said last month. “You’re part of the team. You earned your way into the top eight spots. You’re on the team. You have to figure out what is best for your career and your knee and if you decide you can’t play, great. I totally understand. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
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