During his days as an amateur, Anirban Lahiri made it a point to turn out in red and black on the final day (Friday in some cases, in our context) in case he was in contention.
Far from a TV buff, but one of the lingering memories of watching a belligerent Tiger Woods is his legendary fist pump, of course attired in his favourite colours. “It became a rage,” said Anirban.
Tiger is where he belongs, albeit after a blip, but Anirban now has a reputation to defend. The habit of emulating Tiger went with his turning professional seven years ago, but the images of the world No 1 are fresh as ever.
As a 10-year-old, Anirban hadn’t started to dream of playing on the big stage, but an impression formed then has stayed on.
The setting was the 1997 Masters, and Tiger eyeing his first Major win, went on to kill the competition by a whopping 12 shots.
“Every time you see him play, you get the feeling that he knows that he’s better than the rest. He’s the epitome of what one can be,” said Anirban.
Will that be the case when Tiger Woods faces off against Anirban and Shiv Kapur in a skins event at the Delhi Golf Club on Tuesday?
With a laugh, he replied, “It will mostly be light-hearted, but we’ll take it as it comes.”
Like nirban, Shiv too swears by Tiger’s overwhelming display at the Augusta National Golf Club in 1997. For him, the key lay in the detail. Four-over after his front nine, Tiger scorched the back nine with a five-under on Day One.
“That’s him, always pulling off the miracle shot, time and again. Most of the greats would probably recollect a handful of such occasions, Tiger would have done it more than two dozen times,” said Shiv.
Unlike the 142nd Open Championship last year, the meeting this time will be anything but fleeting, and Shiv plans to make the most of it. The 31-year-old had sent ripples through Muirfield when he briefly sped up the leaderboard on the opening day. “We crossed each other (after the round) and he acknowledged my effort,” said Shiv.
The list is ready, and they relate to the intricacies of golf. “The questions are technical,” said Shiv. The doubts will be clarified, provided he slips in the queries at an opportune moment.