A couple of players found that to be odd Thursday.
'It's the opening of the year, this is important,' Stephen Ames said after completing the first round of the year at 1-under 72. 'I think he should be here. He's here at the end. Is this any different? It should be the same.'
Finchem doesn't travel to every tournament, and he isn't always at Kapalua for the first event of the year. PGA TOUR spokesman Bob Combs said the commissioner was at the Mercedes the last two years and 'will be attending again.'
'It was a combination of business commitments and trying to manage a very challenging travel schedule over the course of a full season,' Combs said of his absence.
More troubling to Joe Ogilvie, a member of the PGA TOUR policy board, was not seeing any member of the TOUR's executive staff at Kapalua for the first shot, the first round, the first tournament.
'I'm pretty disappointed there's no senior staff from the PGA TOUR here on opening day,' Ogilvie said before adding a heavy dose of sarcasm. 'Of course, when you shut down your offices from the 21st of December to the second of January ... I don't know of a $1 billion company that does that. It's puzzling.'
Ogilvie said he felt it sent a bad message, especially with four of the top 10 players in the world skipping the winners-only event. Woods, who earned $10.8 million last year, said he wanted to spend time with his family. Mickelson, second on the money list in 2007 with just over $5.8 million, did not give a reason and has not played at Kapalua since 2001. Also missing are British Open champion Padraig Harrington and Shell Houston Open winner Adam Scott.
Finchem agreed in 2006 to a six-year extension as commissioner, which pays him about $4.5 million a year.
'I think it does (send the wrong message) when you've got four of the top 10 not here at a marquee event. It seems to be common sense to me,' Ogilvie said. 'The TOUR tells the players, you have to be there for the first tournament, but there's no senior staff. If I was commissioner, I'd be here.'