August 20, 2014
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Steve Stricker won The Barclays in 2007. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
When Steve Stricker fired four rounds in the 60s and tied for seventh at the PGA Championship there was more than idle chatter that U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson might need him playing rather than serving as an assistant.
The nine automatic qualifiers for the U.S. team were finalized at Valhalla but Watson had three weeks before making his picks to complete the team. So the thought was if Stricker played well over those final events, maybe Watson should look at the man he named a Vice Captain as an addition to the playing roster instead.
Stricker, who is 47, ended that speculation earlier this week when he told Gary D'Amato of the Journal Sentinel that he would not play again until December.
"Sounds like I've got a back and hip issue," Stricker said in a text message to D'Amato on Monday. "Going to shut it down till December. Rest and rehab and then try to play and see how it goes."
Stricker has a torn labrum in his left hip as well as herniated disks in his back and neck.
Stricker, who finished third in the FedExCup a year ago, has never missed the FedExCup Playoffs. In fact, he had played 27 of the 28 previous Playoffs events and finished in the top 10 on 13 occasions, including two victories -- which earned him the nickname "Mr. September."
Stricker ranked 103rd in the FedExCup entering this year's Playoffs. He joins Dustin Johnson, who has taken a leave of absence from the PGA TOUR, on the sidelines for the entire FedExCup Playoffs which begin this week at The Barclays.
Jason Dufner, who is rehabbing a neck injury, will not play in The Barclays, either, after withdrawing 10 holes into his title defense at the PGA. His status for the rest of the Playoffs is questionable. He ranked 57th in the FedExCup entering this week.