"So what's the deal?"

You may recall Tiger's post-PGA comments about his superior conditioning. And now, in light of Tiger passing on this week's inaugural playoff event, Ed Sherman wants to know what the deal is.

Woods, muscles popping out of his red shirt, looks as if he could make a bid to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the decathlon, if so inclined.

Yes, contending in a major is taxing, a mental and physical grind, even when the conditions are in the 70s with a nice wind blowing. But runners-up Woody Austin and Ernie Els also endured the pressure, not to mention the heat, and they are playing this week.

The bottom line is Woods would have had nine days off before he had to show up in Westchester, N.Y., for his Barclay's pro-am on Wednesday. That should have been more than enough time for a finely conditioned athlete like Woods to recover.

And even if Woods was a bit tired, so what? This is one tournament where the biggest star most definitely needed to be in the field.