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U.S. World Cup golf team in flux

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arron Oberholser pulled out of the World Cup on Monday with a recurring hand injury that will require surgery, and PGA Tour officials were searching for a replacement for the U.S. team.

Oberholser was the highest-ranked American to accept a spot in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, to be played Nov. 22-25 in China, and he selected Sean O'Hair as his partner.

Tour officials were checking with players from the world ranking of Sept. 3 to find O'Hair a partner. Stewart Cink, who played in the World Cup the last two years, declined to go again.

Next in line would be Scott Verplank, followed by David Toms, Brett Wetterich and Charles Howell III. What might make a replacement difficult to find is that the World Cup is held the week of Thanksgiving.

Oberholser injured his left hand hitting a shot from the rough at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in May. Tests in July showed a slight fracture, but doctors felt he could play until the pain became too intense. Oberholser tied for fourth at the PGA Championship and tied for second in the Deutsche Bank Championship, but he withdrew from the rest of the FedEx Cup.

He returned last week at the Fry's Electronics Open and tied for 18th, but more tests showed irritation in the tendon of his middle finger. Oberholser is scheduled for surgery Oct. 30, three days after he marries former LPGA player Angie Rizzo.

"I hate to miss playing with Sean in China," Oberholser said in a statement. "But I wouldn't have been healthy, anyway."

He expects to be ready for the 2008 season.