In a bitter and highly personal attack last week, the US PGA Tour’s Tom Pernice Jr condemned compatriot Tiger Woods for taking an elongated break from golf and skipping the end of season finale, the Tour Championship. Pernice Jr labelled Woods “a disgrace” for missing the event, which pits the season’s top 30 money winners against each other.

Pernice went on to claim that Woods had shown a lack of respect for his fellow PGA Tour members, saying that there were scores of journeymen players on the Tour who would give anything for the opportunity to compete in the Tour Championship and, as the leading money winner, Woods had something of an unwritten obligation to attend the year’s final event. Woods and Phil Mickelson (pictured together), who also missed the Tour Championship, both received further criticism from US PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem.

Yesterday the world number one, who is in China warming up for a lucrative appearance at the HSBC Champions Trophy in Shanghai later this week, broke his silence on the criticism he has received and explained the rationale behind his holiday.

“You can’t play in every tournament,” he said.

“Naturally, people want you to play in those events that you don’t – but it’s impossible to keep everybody happy. A five-week break was really nice and I felt that it was getting to the stage where I needed to lock the golf clubs away for a while to recharge my batteries. I now feel really refreshed and ready for the four big tournaments that I am playing in before Christmas.”