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Brother's illness has Stricker doubtful for Match Play

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Steve Stricker is doubtful to play next week’s WGC-Match Play Championship because of a family illness, Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reported Monday on “Golf Central”.

“My plans next week are up in the air,” Stricker told Rosaforte. “I haven’t pulled out, but it’s not looking so good.”

Stricker hasn’t played since the World Challenge in December. His immediate plans are uncertain because his brother, Scott, 50, is in need of a liver transplant in Wisconsin, Rosaforte reported. Suffering from liver failure, he has spent the past three weeks in the intensive-care unit at the UW Hospital in Madison.

Rosaforte reported that Stricker’s brother – the pro’s only sibling – underwent emergency surgery over the weekend and was supposed to get a donor, but the transplant never materialized. He has been on the transplant list since Jan. 24.

“I’m an optimistic person,” Stricker told Rosaforte, “so I feel like something really good is going to happen.”

As for Stricker’s playing schedule, the 12th-ranked player in the world is likely to tee it up at only Doral and Houston before the year’s first major. Last year – his first of semi-retirement – he made 13 starts, including four appearances (Kapalua, Match Play, Doral, Houston) before the Masters.

If he were to miss the Match Play, Stricker would join Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson in skipping the first World Golf Championships event of the year. It also would put Brooks Koepka, No. 68 in the Official World Ranking, into the field at Dove Mountain.

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