Tiger, Phil should be in Hawaii 

December, 29, 2006
I just dug up this paragraph, part of an Alternate Shot I wrote during last year's Mercedes-Benz Championship:

[Tiger] Woods, [Phil] Mickelson and even the lowest-ranked players on tour are self-employed. ... It would be nice to have four more of the world's top players [including Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington] competing at Kapalua this week, but they are independent contractors, after all, and the positives of this unique arrangement far outweigh the negatives.

On the heels of Woods and Mickelson deciding to skip the season-opening event for the second straight year, it is relevant to bring up this point again. Now, I still believe in the part about tour players being independent contactors. The tour can't tell them when to play or where to play, since they have no contractual obligation to the organization.

Jason Sobel | email

Golf Editor, ESPN.com
Jason Sobel, who joined ESPN in 1997, earned four Sports Emmy awards as a member of ESPN's Studio Production department. He became ESPN.com's golf editor in July 2004.