Rory, Tiger and Phil MIA At HSBC Champions In China

missing in action

Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods all opted to skip this year’s HSBC event in China for different reasons. McIlroy finds himself in the midst of a lawsuit with former management company Horizon and has officially withdrew from at least two events to take care of the multi-million dollar lawsuit that looks likely to continue into 2015. Phil Mickelson has announced he will not compete again until late January, where he is likely to tee it up either at Torrey Pines or the Middle East. Tiger Woods is still recovering from season-ending back surgery, although it is rumoured he has been hitting full-shots for quite some time.

Woods has in the past been rebuked multiple times by HSBC executives for a “lack of respect” to the event. In 2013, Woods decided on an exhibition game in China where he was paid a reportedly seven-figure number to show up with Rory McIlroy.

Giles Morgan – HSBC’s Global Head of Sponsorship – was incensed by Woods’ decision.

“For a meaningless game in China to take place only a few days before is disappointing,” said Giles Morgan. “This tournament has to be bigger than the individual.”

Should golf punish players for not attending key events? What is Formula 1 drivers, NFL players and the Premier League stars decided not to show up for certain games because they weren’t being paid enough? They would be fired in a heartbeat by their teams.

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