ORLANDO, Fla. -- The top-ranked player competing at the Presidents Cup will be arriving to play with a sizeable chunk of competitive rust to shake off.
World No. 4 Steve Stricker, who has paired with great success alongside former world No. 1 Tiger Woods at the last two international cup competitions, still plans to play in Australia next month, but hasn't entered any tournaments beforehand and doesn't expect to.
Stricker’s manager, Jon Heaton of IMG, said the recuperating 44-year-old doesn’t plan to play before the event, set for Nov. 17-20 in Melbourne. Most of the American team will play in the Australian Open or enter the European Tour event in Singapore the week before.
Stricker hadn’t played since the Tour Championship because of a problem with a bulging disc in his neck that prompted a withdrawal a week earlier from the BMW Championship, both staged in mid-September. He has been receiving therapy at his home in Wisconsin and affirmed that he intends to play in Melbourne.
In lieu of tournament action, Stricker plans to work on his game in Arizona before heading to Australia before the matches. Woods, a hugely controversial captain's pick and Stricker's supposed playing partner for the matches, has played once since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, finishing 30th, but is entered in the Aussie Open.
So, wither the Dream Team's fate? The duo was a combined 5-1-1 at the last two Presidents and Ryder matches.