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Fred Couples and Michael Jordan (Scott Halleran/2009 Getty Images)
Fred Couples and Michael Jordan (Scott Halleran/2009 Getty Images)

Michael Jordan relinquishes Presidents Cup role Add to ...

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - NBA labour issues will keep Michael Jordan from going to Australia later this month to be an assistant captain for the U.S. team at the Presidents Cup.

Fred Couples brought Jordan along to the last Presidents Cup in San Francisco, and signed him up again for the Nov. 17-20 matches at Royal Melbourne. The Chicago Bulls great was to be an assistant captain with Jay Haas.

Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, and had to back out as the NBA continues its lockout of players.

“With the NBA labour situation unsettled, as the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, I feel it is necessary that I remain in the country,” Jordan said in a statement. "I wish Fred and the United States Team the best of luck."

Jordan has been a regular at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup over the years, often sitting in a golf cart with a cigar as he watched the matches. He was in an honorary role in San Francisco, but was a big hit with the players.

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

John Cook, an 11-times winner on the PGA Tour, has been appointed to replace Jordan.

“John has been a friend of mine since we broke in together on the PGA Tour in the early 1980s,” Couples said. “Having achieved success at the highest levels in the golf world, I value his opinion greatly."

The United States will be looking to win the Presidents Cup for the seventh time in nine editions.

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