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Tiger Woods is a grounded human being: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 - 6:59am IST | Agency: dna

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri talks to Chander Shekhar Luthra about teeing off with Woods.

How was the experience of playing alongside Tiger Woods?
It was awesome. After the round, I had a chance to sit and chat with him. It’s nice to know that he is a grounded human being. We all make him out to be larger than life and this happens every time one meets a great player. You watch him on TV and you watch him do all these seemingly impossible things and then you meet him and realise that he is like you and me in flesh and blood. And, that makes you believe and reinforces your faith in yourself that you can also do things like him. It’s very inspiring for me really.

Anything you asked him or he told you during your conversation?
It was all light and he was enjoying his time out here. He had a great day. He had the taste of Indian and it’s crowd

Did he seem under any pressure or was he just taking it easy?
That’s what great players do. They make it look easy. Wonder this must be a simple game, when they hit bad shots, even they don’t end up landing too far off the greens.

Was he looking in great shape?
He is always fit. I think he has lost a bit of weight. Obviously he works hard on his fitness. During a conversation he told me how particular he is about his food habits and things like that.

Tiger had an amazing turn-around last year. What did you think while playing alongside Tiger?
I only saw him playing the last three holes. But I think for him to come out and play here, he had to adapt to the conditions. And, it’s amazing how after missing a few putts if he can hit nine-under score, that simply shows the kind of talent this man has.

And he also said that this was the narrowest course he played in?
He said that it’s the best when you play first time on such courses. You hit a couple of bushes and a couple of unplayable shots. It was great having him here.

How soon do you see yourself playing alongside him?
I would love to play with him in an event. It’s not a privilege that everybody has. I am really fortunate that I had that opportunity. It’s inspiring to play with someone like him. Hopefully, in times to come I can earn a spot with him on the golf course. You’ve got to play really well when you want to play with good players. I recently had a chance to play alongside a few other top players like Garcia and others. Hopefully, time will come soon.

Did you expect such big crowd?
I was really expecting this kind of a crowd to see a global celebrity like Tiger. It’s good to see people come out in such big numbers to support the game of golf. Hopefully, golf will be on Page One in all leading newspapers tomorrow. That’s good for the game even if it’s just for a day.

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