MIAMI, Oct 27 (Reuters) Childhood friends Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum will represent the United States in a low-profile pairing at next month's World Cup in China following the withdrawal of Arron Oberholser, the PGA Tour said.
World number 25 Oberholser had initially agreed to play at Mission Hills with Sean O'Hair as his partner but pulled out four days ago to have wrist surgery later this month.
Weekley, world-ranked 36th, was the next available American player and selected Slocum to join him for the November 22-25 team competition in Shenzhen.
''This is really a dream come true for me,'' Weekley said in a statement issued by the PGA Tour yesterday. ''I am so excited to play with Heath and represent our country in this world event.
''I remember the days back in the early 1990s when we were trying as a high school team to just get past the district tournament. That was a big goal.
''Now to be able to go play in China and represent everybody -- well, we sure have come a long way.'' FIRST TIME Weekley and Slocum have played golf together since grade school in Milton, Florida but will team up in China for the first time as professionals.
The 18 seeded countries out of 28 at the World Cup were decided by the highest available player in the world rankings, each of whom selected his own partner.
World number one Tiger Woods and second-ranked Phil Mickelson declined to take part with the Cup dates clashing with Thanksgiving.
Weekley finally got the nod as the 13th highest American in this week's rankings.
The 34-year-old Weekley clinched his maiden PGA Tour title at the Heritage Classic in April while Slocum, 33, is a double winner on the US circuit.
The United States will be looking to add to their record 23 Cup victories, while Germany's Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem will defend the crown they claimed last year in a playoff with Scotland.
REUTERS BJR RN0943