I am already on record as supporting Woods right to play whenever and wherever he wants. Nobody is bigger than the game. But Woods is bigger than anybody IN the game at the moment.
Yes, it would have been a reassuring gesture on Woods part to support one of his Tours most important events. But I believe Woods has done quite enough to support the PGA TOUR and will continue to do quite enough, if not more than enough, in the future to support the PGA TOUR.
Meanwhile, those of us willing to excuse Woods absence from the TOUR Championship must now be willing to excuse Phil Mickelsons absence from the TOUR Championship as well. Woods cited fatigue for skipping the event. Mickelson says he wants to spend more time with his family.
There can be no double standard on this. Those of us unwilling to bash Woods on this issue must cease and desist immediately from bashing Mickelson. Simple as that.
Whats interesting, however, as I read the E-mails, is this: I am in the minority.
A majority of the people with enough energy to post their thoughts to me on this subject are upset with Woods decision.
Tiger is too tired to play at the TOUR Championship, but he is not too tired to go to the Far East for a couple of weeks of guaranteed money, wrote one man.
The same man added these comments:
This is just more garbage by Tiger and for that matter Phil.
I have been angry with the fat cat pro athletes in this country for many years. No one cares for the fans. I thought pro golf was better than the others. But I was an idiot for thinking that way.
I have to go to work when I am tired.
I guarantee you that many people purchased tickets to the TOUR Championship because they knew they would see Tiger. But who cares. The fans dont matter.
A majority of the E-mails received so far have echoed this mans thoughts.
There was one way this furor could have been avoided. The PGA TOUR could have added a provision for accepting membership that required players taking their cards to participate in the TOUR Championship if they qualified.
This shouldnt matter next year when the TOUR Championship will culminate the new FedEx Cup and the winner will receive $10 million. Woods took pains last week to say he would support the FedEx Cup next year.
The hope, then, is that this is a one-off. The expectation is that Woods and Mickelson will tailor their schedules in 2007 to be reasonably fresh for the TOUR Championship.
In the meantime, its important to note that I - and everybody on Tigers side this time - are in the minority.
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