It's not something Tiger would make known to his closest confidantes, in fact it's not something he would want to acknowledge himself even. So, notwithstanding your inside knowledge, I'll continue to believe that Phil's recent play and the thought of the whipping he'd get and the embarrassment that would be to him played some role in his late withdrawal.
Given your knowledge, it may be true that he would have withdrawn regardless of Phil's participation but I don't doubt Phil's presence at the Safeway helped nudge him in that direction. I concede that it may not have been the overarching reason.
For what ever reason, the hole size is what it is, been that way before you and I were born.
Is it the best hole size? Who's to say, some like it but other may have reasons to consider another size.
It's a great game, but the idea of making a slight change to one aspect of the game could be considered.
I'm only stating a possible consideration to improve the quality of the game, possibly even speed up the game and the potential
to increase rounds played and other aspects which generate revenue for the golf industry.
Who's to say it's perfect and why is it perfect?
Maybe perfect to some, but maybe others would enjoy a change, maybe even the game needs a small change for the good of the game.
I would add that modern day instruction is backed up by scientific fact and tools such as launch monitors and such giving validity to the instruction. One problem with that is, trackman for example, might indicate you need to make a small correction to something like a degree or two. While this is true, executing is something altogether different given the minute amount of time in the golf swing. "Some" modern day instructors get very, very, defensive if questioned, often stating that old school instruction was wrong. The old school stuff might not be borne out by modern equipment, but none-the-less worked more than likely as a "feel" thing (real or imagined). It worked because it caused that person at the time to focus on the particular technique rather than the outcome. Gary Player for example is regarded (by some) as one of the best sand players of all time, yet some of his ideas would be scoffed today. His "strike the match" suggestion flies in the face of some of what is touted by modern day gurus. Another example would be Jack Nicklaus and his famous flying right elbow. His explanation was that it was easier to more or less "shoot from the top in a straight line". Others try it and it causes havoc, not because it does not work,but because there are a myriad of other problems in that person's swing. When I first started golfing some forty years ago, I was self taught, and had that flying elbow swing also. It worked pretty good for me at the time as I did not know any better. Since then my swing has evolved into something altogether different. One reason I sometimes quib "I wish I did not know now, what I did not know then". Nowadays should I come across some little thing that works, I "try" to keep it to myself as some sort of "secret discovery" for fear that it will be ridiculed by others. Heck, Lee Trevino one time made the suggestion that for the amateur golfer, one of the best ways to get out of the sand was to hit the ball with a severe duck hook! Tips are fine, but as stated, with caveats. YMMV.