Who WAS that odd looking fellow in the background of that great Tiger Woods photo? Last week, millions of people around the world were captivated by the guy with the turban, mustache, and cigar lurking behind the scenes, watching Tiger at the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Almost immediately, Photoshop wizards began having fun with the photo, inserting “Cigar Guy” into great sports moments throughout history.
But the mystery remained. Who WAS that guy? Now we know.
Cigar Guy is golf fan Rupesh Shingadia, a 30-year-old investment analyst who isn’t quite sure what to make of his sudden rise to fame.
“I am embarrassed and overwhelmed,” he told the Daily Mail. “Never in a million years could I have expected anything like this. It is truly surreal.”
Rupesh says his get-up was a tribute of sorts to Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez.
“I wanted to do something to show my support for the European team and I thought of Miguel. These days sportsmen have become devoid of character. But Miguel does his own thing and I love the way he walks around the course with a cigar clamped between his teeth.”
Rupesh may seem like the life of the party, but really he’s a pretty quiet guy.
“I have never done anything like this before. I’m just an ordinary guy who loves golf and follows Arsenal,” he said.
“If I had known the incredible reaction it would produce, the way that Cigar Guy has snowballed, I would probably never have put on my costume. That said, I’m glad it has put a smile on people’s faces.”
Shingadia says he got the costume idea about a week before the Ryder Cup began.
“I was very excited about going. There is a strong fun element to it, and I wanted to enter into that spirit.”
He almost wore a pair of Union Jack pants, as worn by English golfer Ian Poulter, but instead decided to go with the Miguel costume.
The internet thanks you.
See more photos of Shingadia below.
- Ryder Cup ‘cigar guy’ is City analyst Rupesh Shingadia (telegraph.co.uk)
- Cigar Guy Revealed: Rupesh Shingadia (buzzfeed.com)