Tiger Woods will play in next week's Phoenix Open, giving the tournament
the strongest field in its 69-year history.
Woods hinted last week that he might add an extra tournament to
try shake off rust after taking a month off. With him in the field,
the Phoenix Open will have the top 16 players from last year's PGA
Tour money list, and at least 27 of the top 30.
The Phoenix Open starts Thursday on the TPC at Scottsdale.
Woods last played Phoenix in 1999, when police wrestled a drunken
man to the ground and found a loaded pistol in his backpack. Woods'
agent said at the time that Woods wouldn't return unless security
Woods will return to Phoenix after skipping the 2000 event.
Tournament officials have taken several steps to improve security,
including a ban on weapons. They also moved the Bird's Nest, a raucous
party tent, 2 miles from the golf course.
Woods has played Phoenix twice -- and left lasting memories.
In 1997, he made a hole-in-one on the 16th hole, which features
one of the loudest and wildest grandstands in golf.
Two years ago, he caused a controversy by having fans roll away
a mammoth boulder that was restricting his swing. The rules of golf
allowed for Woods to ask for outside help in moving the rock. He
tied for third in that tournament.