More than 2000 wide-eyed fans jostled to see Tiger Woods teeing off on the verdant grounds of Delhi Golf Club on his debut visit to India on Tuesday. A personal guest of industrialist Pawan Munjal, Woods played a few holes for an exhibition round with his proud host and a clutch of his privileged corporate guests before heading down to his plush South Delhi bungalow for a leisurely lunch. The informal gathering was strictly family, the solitary exception being close friend Suhel Seth - who incidentally advises Munjal on branding strategy - and the legendary raconteur didn’t fail in his duty to give a suitably grand welcome to the international golf star.
“Today is a day that is a recognition of sport in its purest form. As our cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar gets a Bharat Ratna as we speak, we’ve got the global icon of golf arriving to swing his club in the capital. We’re a cricket crazy nation, but simultaneously pausing to salute the Master Blaster and the Tiger.”
All this lionising left Tiger blushing as the Munjal ladies got busy fussing over their special guest. The afternoon almost seemed a reflection of what was happening at Rashtrapati Bhawan - while Pawan’s lovely wife Aniesha gifted him a shawl, his daughter Vasudha summoned a cake that had been specially prepared by the confectionery company she’s started. Par for the course, we say.