Interview with the Empire

As we close in on Whitey Cup XXVI, we were fortunate to catch up with Young Razz, last year's winner. We wanted to ask a few questions about how this accomplishment has changed, and shaped his life. After all, he was the one who taught us the amplification effects of a Solo cup and your iPhone--this is in addition to his on-course exploits.

We hope you enjoy this brief, but telling journey between the ears of a young champion.

Since winning the prestigious Whitey Cup, how has your life been different? 

Well, that’s a more difficult question than you think. In many ways, life is the same. The old man still nags me to do chores around the house, even the pointless ones mom insists. I mean, who dusts plant stands? And the girls on campus most definitely don’t respond how I thought they would when I brag about a fake golf tournament where you beat out a bunch of 50-year olds. It’s more of an internal change. I find I’m more confident, and that even if I fail, somebody will ultimately fail worse. Take the stableford round. I was furious I lipped out the 30-foot birdie putt and had to tap in for par. I thought that cost me the Cup. The old me would’ve carried that burden for months, maybe years. But now I have the experience and knowledge that some real life version of Scott driving the ball into the water and making a bigger mistake will help me succeed. It’s liberating, really. The new me loves life. I know that I can walk with my head held high, knowing I can make small mistakes, but somebody else is going to eff up the big picture.

Where would you rank WC title among lifetime achievements? 

It’s up there, for sure. Finishing third in the fifth-grade spelling bee is up there, because we had like five Indian kids in the class, and not the Cherokee kind of Indians if you know what I mean. Getting the high score on Miss Pac-Man at Bernie’s is another moment where I waxed a bunch of 50-year olds. And there was the time I had the 8-point 3-rebound effort in the 14 & under hoops league playoff game. If we’re being honest, not many have accomplished as much in 40 years than I have accomplished in half that time. I mean, how many people my age can send a fax?

You seem to be much more calm on the course than you would expect with two, how shall we say this, volatile parents.  How do you do it?

Many years ago, one of the great lessons I learned from my dad was actually a part of the Whitey Cup. With a chilly forecast, he was asked about his packing strategy which left him with no long pants. His response: “I pack until the bag is full, and then I stop.” That meant a lot to me and I carry that forward. On the golf course I think until my head is full. And then I stop. It’s amazing how calm you can be when your head is full of thoughts. The questions and the confusion shut down all emotion. You forget. Until you remember.

What sort of shape is your game in for this year?

It’s kind of like a rhombus. All four aspects of my game are equal—driving, short game, putting, and cursing—but none are square. They flex to meet each other in a beautiful symmetry. There’s an elasticity to my game, a fiery freak of nature. You forget I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature. Keep in mind a square is a rhombus, but a rhombus isn’t a square. I am not a square. I am a rhombus. Coo-coo-kee-choo.

What are chances you don’t repeat this year?

Close your eyes. Put a number to what you see. Those are the chances I don’t repeat.

What is your goal for this year’s trip? 

I have nothing to prove on the golf course. We all know I’m going handle Roger like my dad handles Wildwood ribs or how Boxcar handles a housewife with a high credit limit and low self esteem. I want to complete a Trey Slam and simultaneously own the bowling title, Beer Frisbee title, and cornhole title at the same time my name is etched on the Cup. Maybe I’ll feel benevolent at that point and let someone else have a big Saturday. Beyond that, I want my dad to have a fabulous rookie year so he can see how special this trip is. Maybe he will return. I want a hamburger...no, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake...

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