Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker recovering after spending weeks in hospital after historic win at Whistling Straits

By Adam Woodard

Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker is currently on a long road to recovery after spending weeks in the hospital following Team USA’s historic win at Whistling Straits late last year.

In an exclusive interview with Wisconsin Golf, Stricker detailed how his ailment started as a bad cough then became a condition that caused inflammation around his heart.

“I’m still on no activity. I’m still dealing with inflammation around the heart,” said Stricker. “That part is getting better, though, all the time. They took an MRI right before Christmas and it was still there, this inflammation, but it’s going down. I’ll have another MRI on the 20th (of January). If it’s gone, then I can start to do things.

“I’m down 25 pounds. I’m freshman-in-high school weight. I lost all my muscle. I look like an 85-year-old man, dude. My skin is hanging.”

After 11 days at UW Hospital, Stricker was discharged on the day before Thanksgiving. Three days later he was re-admitted.

“I kind of have a feeling that (the Ryder Cup) could have had a part in it,” Stricker said. “It’s a letdown, right, after that happens? And then your immune system is probably down. It probably played a role in it somehow.”

“My heart is in rhythm now. It was jumping in and out of rhythm from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas Eve,” he explained. “So, knock on wood. And I’m on less medication. The inflammation number that they can find out with blood tests is saying that my inflammation is going down. And it must be, because I’m feeling better. I’m walking around a little bit. I’m starting to be a little bit more active and building a tolerance a little bit better. So, things are definitely better.”

Stricker’s cardiologist said it could be six months before he could return to competition, but the timetable for a return is unclear.

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