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Match Play field does not include Woods

2/13/2010 - Golf Tiger Woods

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The field for next week's World Golf Championship is set and it does not include Tiger Woods.

The world's No. 1 golfer had until 5 p.m. ET on Friday to commit to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the deadline passed without a word.

England's Ross McGowan, who has never played in a World Golf Championship event, is the beneficiary, earning the final spot in the field because he was ranked No. 66 at the close of the qualification period last week. No. 2 Phil Mickelson is also skipping the event to take a family vacation.

Steve Stricker will be the No. 1 seed in the 64-player match play event, which begins Wednesday.

Tournament director Wade Dunegan said he has been working with several different plans for more than a year and concerned himself only with the 64 top players available who are coming.

"We never know until Friday who is going to play, and we're pleased to have the field we do," he said. "Tiger and Phil are missing for personal reasons, but every other top player is coming."

Woods has won the tournament three times and made his highly anticipated return to golf following knee surgery at last year's event in Arizona, winning his first match before being defeated in the second round by South Africa's Tim Clark.

An appearance this year was not expected.

Woods has made no public comments since announcing on his Web site on Dec. 11 that he was taking an indefinite leave from golf while acknowledging marital infidelity.

Since then, Accenture, the sponsor of the tournament, dropped Woods as an endorser. And there have been no reports that Woods has even been working on his game.

If the past is any indication, Woods, who has 71 PGA Tour victories and 14 major titles, is unlikely to play at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he has not played for years, or the Honda Classic, where he has never played as a pro.

That would make the next possibility the WGC-CA Championship at Doral, where he has won three times.

Woods has missed the Match Play tournament just once previously since its inception, in 2001 when the event was played in Australia.

Bob Harig is the golf writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.