Tiger Woods, ever since that controversial 1997 GQ interview, has not exactly rushed to share his inner-most thoughts and opinions with the press, to say the least.
Seven years before writer Charles Pierce pierced the seemingly perfect persona that Team Tiger had already begun to build as "Sports’ Next Messiah," however, a 14-year-old Woods candidly talked about golf and race in a video Trans World Sports unearthed as part of a commemoration of its 20th anniversary.
Today’s 14-time major champion would likely cringe at the forthrightness with which his 14-year-old, then-five-time Junior World Championship-winning self discussed race, Jack Nicklaus, and Michael Jordan, among other topics.
"Every time I go to a major country club, you can always feel it, you can always sense it," Woods said, referring to the reactions his presence on their courses elicited from white country club golfers. "People are always staring at you. 'What are you doing here? You shouldn't be here ... Why are you here? You’re not supposed to be here.'"
With photos of Nicklaus hanging on his wall, a prescient Woods noted that the combination of his own golf skills and African-American heritage could make him as big a global icon as a certain NBA Hall of Famer.
"Since I'm black, it might be even bigger than Jack Nicklaus. I might be even bigger than him -- to the blacks," he said. "I might be sort of like a Michael Jordan in basketball. Something like that."
Yeah, something like that.