'This place has been very special to me,' Woods said Wednesday. 'I've made a lot of friends.'
The defending champion, Woods tied tournament records last year for overall score (21-under 267) and single-round score (63). He also won in 1997 and 1998.
'With Tiger defending his title against many of the world's top golfers in our strong field ... we're preparing for one of the most successful events in the 101-year history of the Western Open,' tournament director John Kaczkowski said in a statement Wednesday.
Woods has played in the Western Open eight of the last 10 years.
This year's tournament will be held July 1-4 and have a prize purse of $4.8 million, including $864,000 to the winner.
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