ATLANTA (AP) - Tiger Woods might need a new partner for the Presidents Cup.
Steve Stricker, who went 4-0 with Woods as a partner two years ago, said Friday his left arm feels so weak that he could not guarantee being fit enough to play the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in November. He said making the team was a goal and he desperately wants to play.
"There's no question I want to be there," Stricker said after scrambling to an even-par 70 at the Tour Championship. "I just want to get better. That's the frustrating thing. And I've got to look out for next year. I just feel beat up."
Stricker has a herniated disk and a bone spur that he first detected last December. His condition has improved since then through exercise, and he won twice this year on the PGA Tour.
But the 44-year-old said the arm has become progressively weaker, and he withdrew from the BMW Championship last week to get a cortisone shot. His immediate future depends on an MRI exam scheduled for Tuesday, which he hopes will show the extent of his injury.
"I'm this close to saying, 'Let's do surgery' so I can feel good," he said. "I think this has been going on for a while."
Stricker is the highest-ranked American golfer at No. 5 in the world, and he finished second in qualifying for the Presidents Cup. If he cannot play, U.S. captain Fred Couples would have a free pick.
Couples already has pledged to use one of his two picks on Woods, and he was likely not to break up a partnership that delivered the first 4-0 mark ever in the Presidents Cup and the first such record in any cup competition in nearly 30 years.
Stricker and Woods were so strong two years ago that Australia's Geoff Ogilvy said of the partnership, "One guy hits every fairway and makes every putt. And his partner is Tiger Woods."
Stricker said he is optimistic that he can play since he has no pain. He just doesn't know why he has so little strength on his left side. It has kept him from getting a firm grip on the club, from getting through the ball and even keeping both hands on the club.
He still managed to open with a 68-70 at East Lake, leaving him six shots out of the lead.