PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem responded to reports that Tiger Woods was pressured to play The Players Championship this week despite being slowed by a knee and Achilles injury.
On 'CNBC Saturday' morning, Finchem said the notion that Woods, who withdrew after nine holes on Thursday, was pressured to play the circuit’s marquee event, which was made during Golf Channel’s “Live From” show on Friday, was “ludicrous.”
“It's always important for Tiger to be part of the Tour, because he's Tiger Woods,” Finchem said on CNBC. “But the idea that we would pressure him to play is ludicrous. We don't pressure any player to play the tournament. In this case the suggestion is somehow he was hurt and we got him to play anyway. Tiger doesn't enter a tournament unless he thinks he can win. I was on the range with him Tuesday, I watched him hit balls. He practiced that day, he practiced Wednesday hard. And he tweaked it yesterday. So, non-issue.”
Players, including Woods, have been asked to play more in recent years to provide more value for sponsors during difficult economic times, but no member has ever publically accused the Tour of pressuring them to play certain events.