Tiger Woods is the defending champion this week at the AT&T National.
Rob Carr/AP
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Tiger Woods finished fourth after his final round of 75 at the 2010 U.S. Open earlier this month, he made a couple uncharacteristic references to mistakes in club selection by his caddie Steve Williams. Asked about those remarks on Tuesday, Woods said his disagreement with Williams was not a big deal.

\n"There's no tension," Woods said. "You guys are reading way too much into that. Do Stevie and I make mistakes? Of course we do. We're great competitors and we both want to win."

\nWoods is playing his first event since the U.S. Open at the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia this week. While AT&T ended its sponsorship of Woods following his sex scandals, Woods said he was pleased that the company continued to sponsor the tournament, which raises money for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

\n"I'm still part of the event and working behind the scenes as always," Woods said. "I'm excited that AT&T still wanted to be part of the event."

The AT&T National is only Woods's sixth event this season. He did not play until the Masters and he withdrew from the Players Championship in May with a neck injury. On Tuesday, Woods said his neck feels better, if not great.

"The neck is better than it was," Woods said. "Is it where I want it? No. But it is what it is."

Woods said he thought he played well at the U.S. Open, especially on Saturday, when he shot a 66 at a notoriously difficult Open setup at Pebble Beach, and he said he will take some momentum from that into this week and the British Open at St. Andrews beginning July 15.

"I've just got to get more consistent and string together more rounds like Saturday at the Open," Woods said. "I put together 12 really good holes for the first time this season."

Woods also said that his life was returning to normal, even noting that at press conferences he's now asked about certain shots and why he hasn't won a tournament yet, instead of scandal-related questions.

"Outside the ropes, there are still distractions," Woods said. "But my life on Tour is becoming more normalized."

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