(AFP) - HSBC's sponsorship chief has urged Tiger Woods to respect the bank's large investment by playing at this year's WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai instead of "meaningless... money-making opportunities".
Giles Morgan, HSBC's global head of sponsorship, said the bank had "had words" with the golf Tours about impressing on players the importance of appearing at the sport's biggest events.
World No. 1 Woods has caused controversy by skipping the last two editions of the US$8.5 million (S$10.75 million) tournament, the richest seen in Asia, in favour of exhibition appearances in the region.
"I do think the Tours - and I think the Tours are working on this - should make sure that there is respect to the tournaments," Morgan said in an interview in Singapore.
"As opposed to playing in meaningless... money-making opportunities around the World Golf Championships (WGC)."
He added: "It's up to the Tours to enforce the criteria to their membership. And we've expressed our position to the Tours, which is that we know they can't enforce their players to play and that's fine, we understand that.
"But we do think that players need to be respectful of... these major events (which) are really at the top and the pinnacle and the lifeblood of the sport.
"If you've got sponsors investing that level of money, the players should respect the calendar."
Morgan was speaking on Tuesday ahead of this week's US$1.4 million HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore, the bank's only other event in the Asia-Pacific region.
The WGC-HSBC Champions, played in November, is one of four World Golf Championships per year which rank only behind the Majors in terms of prestige.
Over the last two years, Woods has opted for highly lucrative exhibition appearances in China and elsewhere instead of playing the Shanghai event.