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Steve Stricker pulls out of Ryder Cup running

Steve Stricker: Back and hip injuries. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Steve Stricker: Back and hip injuries. Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by MARVIN COLLINS
 

Steve Stricker’s slim chance of making the United States Ryder Cup team is gone after the 47-year-old confirmed he will not play again until December due to injury.

Stricker had already been chosen as one of captain Tom Watson’s assistants alongside Andy North and Ray Floyd but, after a seventh-placed finish at the US PGA Championship, Watson revealed he had not ruled out handing the 12-time PGA Tour winner a wild card.

That will not be happening now, however, as Stricker has confirmed he is going to “shut it down” for the time being due to back and hip injuries.

“Sounds like I’ve got a back and hip issue,” he wrote in a text message to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Going to shut it down till December. Rest and rehab and then try to play and see how it goes.”

Although Stricker’s chances of playing in a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup at Gleneagles were slim, Watson had admitted after the US PGA at Valhalla that his vice captain was still eager to try to make the team.

The Wisconsin native is the latest in an ever-growing list of players Watson will not have at his disposal when the Ryder Cup tees off on 26 September.

Tiger Woods has ruled himself out due to his own back problems while Dustin Johnson has taken a break from the game as he seeks “professional help for personal challenges”.

Matt Kuchar has qualified for the team but could be a doubt after he withdrew before the start of the US PGA with a back injury, while Jason Dufner’s title defence lasted just ten holes with a serious neck problem and he dropped out of the automatic places as a result.

Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson are the nine players to have automatically qualified for Watson’s team, with the captain announcing his three picks on 2 September.

 

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