Tiger's Absences

This column ought to make Doug Ferguson's next encounter with Tiger at the Buick interesting...

So here's how it shakes out. Woods can either take two weeks off to ski and then practice for the Mercedes-Benz Championship, or he can take five weeks off and return at Torrey Pines to defend his title in the Buick Invitational.

Should he play? Yes.

Woods was largely responsible for PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem revamping the regular season to make it shorter and more compelling. And while the world's No. 1 player is singularly responsible for a $6 million purse considered routine, he needs the PGA Tour as a platform for his worldwide success.

In other words, it's time to give back.