Ryder Cup rules state that if a player from either team incurs an injury prior to the alternate shot matches on Friday morning, the captain is allowed to pick a replacement to fill the open spot. Over the years, only Steve Pate has suffered an injury at the biennial competition, after the limo he was riding in to the 1991 Ryder Cup gala dinner got into a three-car accident that injured his ribs and forced him to miss Sunday singles and play only one match.
The streak without an injury at the Ryder Cup is up to 21 years, but on Wednesday afternoon, Steve Stricker nearly became the latest casualty when the cart he was riding in got a little out of control on a steep slope near Medinah's 17th green.
According to GolfDigest.com's Dave Shedloski, Stricker, sensing there was something wrong, jumped out of the cart, driven by U.S. assistant captain Scott Verplank, as it slid sideways down the wet slope.
"I felt it going, and I decided to abandon ship," said Stricker. "I think the cart actually ended up doing about a 360 spin before it stopped. My caddie (Jimmy Johnson) also jumped out. My clubs were kind of all over the place. But no one got hurt, which was good."
Yikes! Davis Love III may want to consider wrapping his players in bubble wrap on Thursday to ensure their safety. Or, at the very least, bar them from riding in golf carts before the opening match.
After all, Love needs Stricker to be at his absolute best this week. Considering he's the only guy on the U.S. squad who's had success with Tiger Woods in the team format in recent years, he could be one of the most important pieces to a possible win for the Stars and Stripes.
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