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Golf News: - Posted 12th March 1998

Tiger orders cheeseburgers for Masters menu

Associated Press

Fuzzy Zoeller can rest easy. Tiger Woods won't be serving fried chicken and collard greens at The Masters champions dinner.

Woods's menu, the subject of racial jokes by Zoeller after last year's tournament, includes cheeseburgers, french fries, grilled chicken sandwiches and strawberry and vanilla milkshakes, sources familiar with the plans told The Associated Press today.

The previous year's winner picks the menu for the champion's dinner. Zoeller, who won The Masters in 1979, will be at the dinner.

Last April, Zoeller reacted to Woods, who was closing in on his record 12-stroke victory at Augusta National, by making several racial references to Woods, whose father is black and mother is from Thailand.

"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. The matter was stirred up again the following week when Zoeller engaged in a similar kind of joking banter with Victor McBryde, a black corporate executive.

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 face-to-face 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.