Stricker to Match Play after brother gets liver

By By DOUG FERGUSON

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Stricker says he's going to the Match Play Championship next week now that his brother had a successful liver transplant.

Stricker was leaning against playing in Arizona because his 50-year-old brother, Scott Stricker, was waiting on a transplant in Wisconsin. He said his mind was not on golf and it would be a "long shot" if something didn't happen soon.

Later that evening on Thursday, while Stricker was at a college basketball game, he received a call that a liver was available. His brother had a 10-hour surgery the next day that went into Saturday.

"It went way better than they expected," Stricker said. "It's still going to be tough. He got through the hard part."

Stricker said his only sibling had been in the hospital since Jan. 6, but all the signs were positive in the hours after transplant surgery. He said his parents encouraged him to play.

"It's been crazy, but I'm going to come play since he's doing so well," Stricker said.

Stricker is No. 12 in the world ranking and a past champion of this World Golf Championship when it was held in Australia in 2001. A year ago, he lost to Ian Poulter in the quarterfinals.

The Match Play Championship starts on Wednesday.

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