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Tim Finchem unhappy with no-shows

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is dissatisfied that world number one Tiger Woods and Masters champion Phil Mickelson chose to miss this week's Tour Championship.

Woods pulled out of the season-ending event for the first time in his career, citing fatigue, while Mickelson has traditionally wound down his playing schedule for the season after the PGA Championship in August.

"I'm against it," Finchem told a news conference at East Lake Golf Club on Wednesday. "I'm disappointed, candidly. There's no other way to characterize it.

"Phil was not a surprise to me. Now that I know the details of Tiger's statement from last week, I understand how he came to his conclusion.

"It doesn't make me less disappointed, but I understand how he got there and I recognize that he's had a good, solid run of commitment to this tournament."

Woods, champion at East Lake in 1999, said he needed to recharge his batteries after a season featuring eight PGA Tour victories and the illness and subsequent death of his father.

Finchem believes the radical shake-up of the PGA Tour for next year, when the Tour Championship will end the inaugural FedExCup series with the final points leader claiming $10 million, will attract the game's best players.

"I don't have guarantees from anybody but they tell me they want to play," he said. "They're looking forward to it and they like the way the competition sets up.

"If you've heard one refrain from Tiger and other top players over the years, it's that they want to play against all the best players more often.

"That's why he plays in the events he plays in, because that's where all the best players are."

Woods, a winner of 12 major championships, has always structured his playing schedule around the game's elite tournaments.

"I think the big change is when you've got all the players that are in contention for something playing four weeks in a row," Finchem added.

"It's unique, it's different and I think the players are relating to it. I am totally confident that we're going to put on some playoff events next year that are going to be extraordinary."

Players will earn FedExCup points from every PGA Tour event in 2007.

The leading 144 players in the points list after the Carolina Classic ending on August 19 will make up the field for the first three FedExCup playoff events before the top 30 advance to the September 13-16 Tour Championship in Atlanta.

November 2, 2006


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