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Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Michael Jordan out of Presidents Cup

By Bob Harig
ESPN.com

Michael Jordan will be unable to serve as an assistant captain for the U.S. Presidents Cup team in Australia due to the NBA's continuing labor issues.

Jordan, who is majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, will be replaced by Champions Tour player John Cook, an 11-time PGA Tour winner who is also close with team member Tiger Woods.

"After careful consideration, it is with regret that I have decided to cancel my trip to Australia later this month for The Presidents Cup," Jordan said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. "With the NBA labor situation unsettled, as the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, I feel it is necessary that I remain in the country. It was an honor to have been chosen by Fred Couples to serve as a captain's assistant. I wish Fred and the United States team the best of luck."

"While the team will miss his friendship, spirit and leadership, we certainly understand the complexity of his current team obligations," Couples said.

The NBA is in the midst of a lockout that has cost the league the first month of a season that was scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Jordan has served in the role of honorary captain for Couples at the Presidents Cup played in San Francisco in 2009 and won by the United States over an international team led by Australia's Greg Norman. The competition is similar to the Ryder Cup, with a squad of international players from outside of Europe taking on the Americans.

The only time the U.S. has lost the competition that began in 1994 was the last time it was played at Royal Melbourne in 1998.

When Couples was re-named to the post for this year, he again asked Jay Haas and Jordan to join him as assistants. Couples then chose Cook to replace the NBA Hall of Famer.

Cook, who is playing in this week's Charles Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour, will join Couples, Woods, Norman and several others participating in the Presidents Cup at next week's Australian Open in Sydney. The Presidents Cup is Nov. 17-20.

Bob Harig is a golf writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.