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Tiger Woods talks about his missing tooth

Tiger Woods talks about losing a front tooth while watching girlfriend Lindsey Vonn break World Cup record

The final word on the Tiger Woods tooth mystery?

"Yeah," Woods said, "that didn't feel very good."

Speaking to reporters at the Phoenix Open on Tuesday, the former No. 1 golfer answered questions about losing a tooth at girlfriend Lindsey Vonn's ski race and the subsequent buzz about that gap in his smile.

"It’s the new world, I guess," he said. "We need to talk about something."

The whole thing began earlier this month when Woods traveled to Italy to see Vonn set the record for career World Cup victories. At one point, photographs showed him with a front tooth missing.

His agent blamed a cameraman, saying that Woods got struck in the mouth as the media jostled for position at the awards ceremony. But a race official later cast doubt on that account.

On Tuesday, Woods said the cameraman was kneeling in front of him and stood up suddenly, the collision chipping one tooth and cracking another. He said that he'd previously had a root canal on the tooth that was badly damaged.

After flying home that night, he saw a dentist the next morning.

"I couldn't eat, I couldn't drink, until he fixed it," Woods said. "Even breathing hurt."

There was another aspect of the story -- the photos from Italy showed Woods with his face concealed most of the time.

"I had my mask on so no one knew who I was," he said. "Trying to blend in because there are not a lot of brown dudes at ski races."

Twitter: @latimeswharton

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