Tiger of different stripe lives on fringes of reality

Sports Plus

Woods impersonator sets up Web site, creates variation of plugged lie

September 02, 2001|By Andy Knobel | Andy Knobel,SUN STAFF

Does the name Canh Oxelson mean anything to you?

Probably not. But you would do a double take if the 29-year-old Harvard graduate student walked into the room. He's a dead ringer for star golfer Tiger Woods.

Although 4 years older than Woods, Oxelson looks strikingly similar - large eyes, a 6-foot-2 frame and a big smile. Both are also half Asian and African-American. Oxelson's mother is Vietnamese and Woods' mother is Thai, while both their fathers are black.

At first, Oxelson used his looks primarily to gain tables at fancy restaurants and entry into celebrity parties. Then, on the advice of a William Shatner impersonator, he set up a Web site (www.tigersdouble.com), printed business cards with his photograph and sent head shots to a list of agents.

Now, he earns up to $3,000 for appearances at corporate functions, weddings, birthday parties and golf outings. The income has paid his way through graduate school.

Oxelson said he never purposefully misleads people. For a while, he signed autographs as "Tiger 2" but found some people were still confused, so now he doesn't sign any autographs.

"If someone says, `Are you Tiger Woods?' I'll say, `No,' or turn the question around and say, `What do you think?' " he said.

Tiger's father, Earl, calls Oxelson's act "an infringement on Tiger's personal being," but Tiger doesn't seem to mind. In fact, Woods has used Oxelson as a fill-in during a commercial shoot.

"I asked Tiger for some help on my golf swing," said Oxelson, who has a handicap of 25. "He said to me, with a smile, `You're beyond help.' "

Oxelson said meeting Woods was great: "He is a wonderful man, kind of makes you feel like you are the only person in the room."

Just not the only Tiger Woods.

Smart move

In another case of altered identity, Rod Smart, the player who wore He Hate Me on the back of his XFL jersey with the Las Vegas Outlaws, went with the more traditional "SMART" on his jersey when he joined the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League last month.

"He Hate Me was something I did," said Smart, who attributes the nickname to the phrase he tosses out when people disagree with him. "That's me. I'm that type of person. I can be different if I want to or blend in if I want to."

But Edmonton hate him. Smart was cut after one game.

Profitable relationship

New York Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill after meeting Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill:

"He said he didn't have a problem getting a reservation in New York anymore. I asked him when my name is going to be on the money. He said real soon."

Martinizing the truth

Seattle Mariners outfielder Al Martin heard taunts of "USC! USC!" and "Go Trojans!" during his at-bats Wednesday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

It was reported last week that Martin apparently didn't play college football for Southern California in the 1980s, as he had claimed for years. Said Martin: "I'm not saying anything."

D'oh!

When the Milwaukee Bucks-Philadelphia 76ers NBA playoff series opened this year, TNT analyst Charles Barkley was registered at his Philadelphia hotel under the name of Homer Simpson.

Said Richard Sandomir of The New York Times: "A fitting pseudonym, since both are bald, overweight, love beer and enjoy sitting on sofas watching TV."

Compiled from wire reports and Web sites.

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