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Tiger returns to Phoenix Open, looks to get first win at TPC Scottsdale

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El Tigre is officially back. After a 14-year absence Tiger Woods returns to the Valley for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“It’s great to be back. Been a long time since I have been gone,” Woods said in Tuesday’s press conference.

An upbeat Tiger joked around about issues including his missing tooth, the skull mask and even the “Bird’s Nest” on 16.

“I don’t know if they still serve alcohol like they used to, because that was a pretty—the guys who were playing behind me, they had some pretty wet lies,” Woods said.

Tiger says he feels good and confident about his play, saying he is able to start gaining weight again after battling the flu.  His speed is also improving.

This will be Woods’ fourth appearance at TPC Scottsdale. He has yet to win here, but he did post a third place finish in 1999.

One of Tiger’s fondest memories came in 1997 when he hit a hole-in-one on 16.

“I think I broke Fluff’s hand…I missed Omar’s and then old school, back in day, raised the roof, that was the thing in the day,” Woods said.

Aside from his success in Scottsdale, Tiger has run into problems with the crowd.

Back in 2001, a fan threw an orange onto the green as Woods was about to putt on 16.  Woods also had to deal with a heckler on hole No. 6 that proved distracting.

“I think the people here have done a fantastic job over the years and making sure things are a lot more safe,” Woods said.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open kicks off on Thursday and will conclude on Super Bowl Sunday.