Steve Stricker rules out possibility of Ryder Cup playing appearance

Veteran will not play golf before December due to hip and back problems

Steve Stricker has ruled out a playing role at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles because of hip and back problems. Photograph:   Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Steve Stricker has ruled out a playing role at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles because of hip and back problems. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 21:50

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 next month were slim, Watson had admitted after the US PGA at Valhalla that his vice-captain was still eager to try to make the team.

“Our new vice-captain, Steve Stricker, is also battling through a hip injury, Watson wrote in a blog for the PGA of America.

“It’s been a problem for a while now and I think it’s the reason he’s had a hard time stringing four rounds together this year until last week. He played great at Valhalla and tied for seventh.

“Steve actually called me on Thursday night. He asked if I was considering him for a captain’s pick. I said, ‘Absolutely, I am’.”

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

Tiger Woods has ruled himself out of the running for a pick 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 10 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 September 2nd.

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