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Tiger Woods defends skipping Tour Championship

Tiger Woods defended his decision to miss last week's PGA Tour Championship, saying the break had left him ready to compete in Shanghai's $5-million Champions Tournament this week.

"You can't play 'em all, and the ones which you don't play, people are going to wish you were there to play. That's just the way it's going to be," a relaxed-looking Woods told a news conference on Tuesday.

"It was actually nice to get away from the game for a little bit."

The world number one came in for criticism after pulling out of the Tour Championship for the first time in his career, citing fatigue after a season which included eight PGA Tour victories as well as the death through illness of his father.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he understood the decision but that it was disappointing and "I'm against it."

Woods said on Tuesday that the break made sense to help him prepare for the Shanghai event and that one advantage of being a golf professional was: "We're lucky enough to plan our own schedules."

The Shanghai Champions tournament, which starts on Thursday, will pit the American against a field that includes defending champion David Howell of Britain and newly crowned Order of Merit winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland. It is Asia's richest tournament.

November 8, 2006


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