It seems like Tiger plays the least amount of tournaments required to be ranked. Has this ever been confirmed by him or by the press? According to the Rankings page
, a player must maintain at least 40 tournaments played over the last two-year-period to be on the list. That's exactly how many tournaments Tiger participates in during any ranking period. It's been this way for a very long time, like he plans it.
If true, it would be a bit disappointing as I can't get enough of seeing him play. He would've surpassed Sam's record years ago if he had played just a bit more tournaments.
Is it mainly a matter of legacy? That only big tournaments matter. 100 quality wins is better than having 50 additional wins at medium-tiered (yet still PGA Tour) tournaments.