MEDINAH, Ill. -- Steve Stricker narrowly missed becoming the Steve Pate of this Ryder Cup.
Stricker was riding in a golf cart driven by U.S. assistant captain Scott Verplank that got slightly out of control as Verplank tried to navigate a steep slope near the 17th green at Medinah CC Wednesday afternoon. Verplank drove cautiously down the bank, but the cart began to slide sideways in the wet grass. Rather than risk injury should the cart overturn, Stricker jumped out of the passenger seat and ran down the hill.
"I felt it going, and I decided to abandon ship," said Stricker, 45, making his third appearance for the U.S. team. "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."
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Pate is the last player to get injured during Ryder Cup week. In 1991 at Kiawah Island, S.C., the American suffered a rib injury when the limousine in which he was riding was involved in a three-car accident on the way to a gala dinner in nearby Charleston. Pate played in only one match that weekend and sat out the Sunday singles because of the injury.
Stricker has a 3-3-1 record in the Ryder Cup. It is expected that he will be paired with Tiger Woods for several sessions of the team portion of the matches featuring foursomes (alternate shot) and four-ball formats. Stricker and Woods were 2-1 in the 2010 matches in Wales.