Rusty but smiling Woods reveals a full set of teeth

Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:43pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, set to compete at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week for the first time in 14 years, was in a humorous mood on Tuesday as he spoke about his rusty game and a repaired set of teeth.

Eight days ago, Woods lost a front tooth and had another cracked by a video camera after watching his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn claim a record 63rd World Cup Alpine ski win in Italy.

Woods said the collision occurred after he had climbed a hill to watch the podium presentation with all the photographers jostling for position below him.

"That didn't feel very good," the former world number one, who this week will be playing only his second tournament in five months due to back problems, told reporters ahead of Thursday's opening round at the TPC Scottsdale.

"I was looking down, and all the camera guys are below me on their knees or moving all around, trying to get a picture because she's (Lindsey's) hugging people, saying congratulations to the other racers as they are coming down.

"Dude with a video camera on his shoulder, right in front of me, kneeling, stood up and turned and caught me square on the mouth. He chipped that one, cracked the other one."

Woods had surprised Vonn when he turned up at Cortina d'Ampezzo for the Super-G race, and wore a skeleton-patterned scarf over his face in a bid to stay as anonymous as possible.

"Trying to blend in, because there's not a lot of brown dudes at ski races, okay?" he smiled, sparking roars of laughter from the reporters gathered around him.   Continued...

Jan 27, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Tiger Woods reacts during his media press conference after a practice round at TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports