Woods: One reason for Phoenix absence was safety concern

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Following a nine-hole Tuesday morning practice round, Tiger Woods discussed returning to a TPC Scottsdale course at which he hasn’t competed since 2001.

“Great to be back, been a long time,” he said. “The golf course right now is in fantastic shape. I mean, it's springy. The balls are not quite flying, it's not quite warm out yet. But the greens have definitely got a little spring to them, but they're not overly quick, which is nice. You can see some pretty good scoring unless this weather comes in we're supposed to get on Friday. Then it might be a little harder.”

Woods allowed that one of the reasons for his 14-year absence were a pair of incidents that drew national headlines.

In 1999, a heckler on the sixth hole was found to be in possession of a handgun. Two years later, an orange was tossed in his direction by a spectator while he was on the practice green.

“That's one of the reasons why I hadn't played in a while,” he said. “You know, I think the people here have done a fantastic job over the years and making sure things are a lot more safe.”