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Steve Stricker likely to miss Match Play as brother awaits liver transplant

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Steve Stricker is likely to miss the Match Play Championship next week because his older brother is awaiting a liver transplant at home in Wisconsin.

Stricker said his 50-year-old brother, Scott Stricker, has been in the hospital since Jan. 6 and was transferred to the intensive care unit three weeks ago. Stricker said his brother has a history of health problems, but took a sudden turn for the worse after the holidays.

"He's walking a tightrope is what they're telling me," Stricker said Tuesday after his daily visit to the hospital. "He needs a liver. He's holding his own, but this can't last forever. Hopefully, we get one soon."

He said the family thought his brother had a liver donor over the weekend, but the timing didn't work out.

Stricker said his brother caddied for him when he qualified for the Canadian Tour in 1989, and soon after had colitis that turned into Crohn's disease. Scott Stricker had emergency surgery last Thursday, and Stricker said he has been stable since then.

If he were to miss the Match Play Championship that would mean four of the top 12 players in the world ranking are not in the 64-man field at Dove Mountain. Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson already have said they would not play.

Stricker won the Match Play in 2001 in Australia, and he reached the quarterfinals a year ago. He has not officially withdrawn — players have until Friday to commit — but said it was not looking good for him to play.

"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."

Stricker has competed only once since the Presidents Cup last October — he played the unofficial World Challenge the first week in December — though he said he played a few rounds in Naples, Fla., after the holidays.

Last year he began a limited schedule to be at home more often. Stricker played only 13 times last year and finished No. 3 in the FedEx Cup.

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