Finchem, of course, opted to focus on the positives.
“Everybody looks at it, when Tiger is not going to play, there are bad things happening,” Finchem said. “I don’t look at it that way. When Tiger plays, good things happen. When he doesn’t, it’s fine.
“Listen, we’d love to have, not only the No. 1 player in the world, but he’s defending. But I do think what we’ve found over the years … is the strength of interest that we get from focus on the young players.
“When Tiger is in a tournament, I don’t care what tournament it is, he dominated the media focus, and that’s fine. But the negative to that is that the young players coming up don’t get the kind of attention that they need to develop and become athletes that the fans really recognize. So it kind of holds back the development of our stars.”
Since 1997, Woods had only missed the 2008 Players Championship, although he withdrew in both 2010 and 2011. He won in 2001 and again last year.