Originally created 03/13/98

Woods plans menu for Masters Club dinner



Tiger Woods will reportedly serve cheeseburgers, french fries, grilled chicken sandwiches and strawberry and vanilla shakes at the Masters Club dinner on Tuesday, April 7, sources told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The interest in Woods' menu, which he chooses as defending Masters Tournament champion, is because of Fuzzy Zoeller's racial jokes about the dinner after last year's tournament, where Woods shot a record 18-under-par total and won by a record 12 strokes.

"That little boy is driving well and he's putting well," Zoeller said. "He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it?"

Then, as he was walking away, Zoeller snapped his fingers and added, "Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve."

Zoeller, who insisted he was joking, apologized and several days later Woods accepted the apology. Woods' father is black and his mother is from Thailand.

Zoeller lost major endorsement deals with K-mart and Dunlop because of the controversy, but has since lined up contracts with Daiwa clubs, Sport-Haley clothing and Ocean Breeze sunglasses.

Woods and Zoeller finally met in May at the Colonial tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.

"Fuzzy and I had a nice lunch and a nice conversation and I found out some things I needed to know," Woods said. "Now I understand where he was coming from."

Still, it was clear that Woods was not convinced it was a joking matter.

"I have a problem with anyone saying it in that tone," Woods said, referring particularly to the "whatever the hell they serve" remark.

The Tuesday night dinner, in the upstairs dining room in the Augusta National clubhouse, is open to former champions and one invited guest (Augusta National Chairman Jack Stephens).

The event was the idea of two-time Masters champion Ben Hogan. As defending champion of the 1952 tournament, Hogan gave a dinner for all previous winners. At that dinner, he proposed the formation of the Masters Club, which would be limited to Masters champions. It was approved by all nine of the former champions in attendance that night. The Masters Champions Club Dinner officially started the following year.

As always is the case at the dinner, the usual fare of steak, fish and a chicken dish will be offered, in addition to the defending champion's choice.

One of the most unusual feasts was chosen by Scotsman Sandy Lyle, the 1988 winner. For the 1989 dinner, he chose haggis, a Scottish dish made of the lungs, heart, etc., of a sheep or calf, mixed with suet, seasoning and oatmeal and boiled in the animal's stomach.