Pros advice

Stricker withdraws from Ryder Cup

Steve Stricker has finally killed off any chance Tom Watson might have had of including him in the US Ryder Cup team after confirmation from the 47-year-old that he will not play again until December.

Stricker was handpicked by Watson as one of his assistants alongside Andy North and Ray Floyd. And Watson was still considering him after a seventh-played finish at the PGA Championship as a possible wildcard pick.

It now looks like Watson is again short of options as Stricker confirmed he is going to “shut down” for the time being due to back and hip injuries.

"Sounds like I've got a back and hip issue. Going to shut it down till December. Rest and rehab and then try to play," he is reported as texting to journalists.

Stricker is the latest in a string of absentees who Watson will not have at his disposal when the Ryder Cup tees off on September 26.

Dustin Johnson has taken the decision to have a break from the game while he works on getting “professional help for personal challenges,” while Tiger Woods has ruled himself out of contention due to yet more back problems.

Jason Dufner is a doubt after playing just 10 holes in his title defence at the US PGA after pulling up with a serious neck problem, which drops him out of the automatic selection places as a result. Matt Kuchar has already qualified for the team but could also miss the event after withdrawing before the US PGA with a back injury.

Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson are the nine players automatically qualified for Tom Watson’s team, with the captain announcing his three picks on September 2.