Stricker plays down Ryder bid

Steve Stricker has played down his chances of making the US Ryder Cup team despite being firmly in contention at the halfway stage of the US PGA Championship.

The 47-year-old American was named as one of Tom Watson's vice-captains for Gleneagles earlier this week, but he could still make the team as a player if he wins at Valhalla on Sunday.

And he gave himself a chance of doing just that by moving to five under after the second round with a three-under 68, which included four birdies on the back nine - he started at the 10th - and a bogey at the 15th.

However, when asked if he could still qualify for the Ryder Cup as a player, Stricker told Sky Sports: \"No, I don't think so.

\"I would have to do something pretty special this week but I have given myself a chance. I need a good weekend and I see Rory (McIlroy) is right back up there at the top and he is going to be tough to catch.

\"But I made it through to the weekend and now you never know what could happen.

\"I would like to play but I haven't played that much this year and I haven't played all that well.

\"There's a bunch of guys ahead of me in the list, and guys that have been playing well, so I know my spot, I think. So I will just plug along this weekend and see what happens.\"

Stricker was in fine form with his putter and he admitted that had played a key role in his score.

He said: \"I played a very nice first nine holes today, which was the back nine. I made some nice putts and didn't do as well on the other side but hung in there.

\"The first nine holes the greens were perfect. We were just a few groups from the start and they were smooth and had good speed and then as we got to the second nine they got chopped up a bit.\"