Tiger Woods Upset People Still Can't Look Past His Asian-ness



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Issue #45

"Hey, it's that great Asian golfer!" say the stupid white gallery.
AUGUSTA, GA – The already legendary, unstoppable golf phenom Tiger Woods strolls triumphantly to the 18th hole.  He's just done it again: another major title, and his 3rd Masters.  Yet, for some reason, maybe it's just human nature, maybe it's cultural conditioning; America just can't seem to get past that one little footnote when it comes to Mr. Woods.

     "I know what you're all thinking all the time--'Hey, look, that half-Asian guy did it again.'  After six years on the tour you'd think all of this hoopla over my ethnicity would go away after awhile.  But it just keeps getting stronger.  People still treat me like 'that token Asian guy' out on the course."

     Woods, who has dominated the golf scene since 1999, is upset and even bewlidered by the fact that his closest fans, colleagues, and acquaintances still assign the race issue equal importance while talking to him about his success. 

     "Jimmy (Ogden, of GQ magazine) interviewed me Monday and said 'Tiger, tell me what this (7th major victory) means to you, specifically as an Asian-American?' And I'm thinking 'God! do you know how many times I've had to answer this question already?'  I felt like saying, 'It feels great, Jimmy!  Right after this I'm going down to the Chinese restaurant, and I'm gonna open some fortune cookies, and then after that I'm going down to the rice patties to play a little ping-pong!! Syonara!' Christ!! I wish you people would just get over it already."

Above:  Woods' favorite cousins - Binky, Chucky, Gary, and Joe Woods.

     Perhaps the extra hoopla exists just because Asians don't historically have a vivid history when it comes to the sport of golf.  In the 1890's a Chinaman named Yeong Hi-Awaa made a brief flourish in England.  And an upstart Laotian named Byong Chi-Chi won some titles in the 1950's.  But since then, Asian-Americans have barely put a dent in the golf landscape, that is, until Woods came along.

     "Listen up, everybody, once and for all," says Woods.  "I just want to be the best at what I do, that's it.  Stop talking to me about the yellow issue all the time.  If I just happen to be Asian too-- well hey, that's great for my nationality.  Actually---I'm only part Asian.  Did you also know that I happen to be part African-American?  People seem to be forgetting that all the time."

by Willy P. Ondabich

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