Stricker set to miss Match Play

Steve Stricker has admitted his chances of playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship are “a long shot” due to his brother’s health.

The tournament takes place at Dove Mountain in Arizona from February 19-23, but Stricker is unlikely to make the trip as his 50-year-old brother Scott remains in hospital.

Scott has been in hospital since January 6 and he was admitted to the intensive care unit three weeks ago.

“He’s walking a tightrope is what they’re telling me,” the world number 12 said. “He needs a liver. He’s holding his own, but this can’t last forever. Hopefully, we get one soon.”

He won the Match Play event back in 2001 in Australia, but he is a major doubt for this year’s edition as he wants to be there when his brother undergoes surgery.

“I was going to leave today to go to Phoenix for a few days, but that’s not going to happen,” he said. “It’s going to be a long shot if I come and play. I’m practicing every day, but in the back of my mind, I feel like I’m not going to be there – unless something happens rather quickly, and they say it can. But if one comes available, I wanted to be around for the surgery.”

If Stricker fails to travel to Arizona, then it will be another major blow for organisers as world number one Tiger Woods, the second-ranked Adam Scott and five-time major winner Phil Mickelson have all confirmed they won’t take part.