New Delhi: If Tiger Woods was battling an inconsistent form, it did not show on Tuesday. Woods, in his first outing at the narrow and difficult course of the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), impressed an awestruck crowd of 5000 with sublime golf.
It was an exotic cocktail of talent and skill as the world No. 1 ended the day with a nine-under in the exhibition event. Organised by Hero Motors and World Sports Group, Woods played against different players, including professionals Shiv Kapur and Anirban Lahiri and women’s India No. 1 Sharmila Nicollet.
The initial plan of skipping a few holes after the fifth was discarded and Woods happily played all the 18 holes. The winner of 14 Majors looked relaxed and calm, and his renowned playing skills were on full display. Some of his shots were simply breathtaking.
Dressed in a blue tee, black trousers and white cap, Woods started off with a wonderful shot straight down the middle, while his second shot landed on the green. In the second hole, Tiger landed a shot just four feet away from the pin to miss it by a whisker.
The spectators enjoyed every moment of Woods’ four-hour stay at the course and cheered the legend. Woods, being a gentleman, raised his hand in acknowledgement.
“Thank you so much for the time… I had an absolute blast,” said an ecstatic Woods. “It is hard to say how much fun I had today.”
The crowd roared. Cricketers Madanlal and Murali Kartik were also seen cheering him.
“I am excited to see him. I am here just as a spectator,” Kartik said.
When the announcer erroneously mentioned that Woods had finished the day with seven-under, the ace golfer never made an attempt to correct it. But when someone from the crowd pointed out that Woods’ actual score was nine-under, he first shrugged, then smiled and waved to the crowd.
Woods also spoke about the narrow DGC course that had the best of players in trouble over the years. “It was a narrow golf course and I was nervous with my tee shots. My best buddy, Arj (Arjun Atwal) told me so much about India and I am happy to be here. I would love to come back to India. Thank you so much,” he said. He donated the prize money for the improvement of junior golf programme and caddies welfare fund.
About playing against Woods, Lahiri said: “He decimated all of us. The way he played today only speaks of his enormous talent. The course was not a problem for him. After all, he is one of the straightest hitters.”
Shiv Kapur said Woods specifically asked him about the DGC course during the Dubai tournament.
“I told him a few things. He is too great to be tamed by any course. Also you have to keep in mind that he himself grew up playing at a narrow course.”
A local golfer, who was following Woods throughout the 18 holes, said Woods would have set the DGC on fire had he played in the Indian Open.
“Having come here for the first time he (Woods) hit nine-under. If he plays a serious competition, he would definitely set a record score,” he said.