Delhi Golf Club gears up to welcome Tiger Woods amid a veil of secrecy
New Delhi: A veil of secrecy surrounds the first visit of Tiger Woods in India even as the prestigious Delhi Golf Club today geared up to host the world number one golfer who is set to play a lucrative exhibition round, here tomorrow.
Woods` maiden sojourn in the country has been kept shrouded in secrecy and out of bounds for the public as well the media.
Nosey newsmen have been kept at bay and they will not be entertained for the entire visit -- whether it is for the round of golf with a select gathering, or the day-time clinic or the dinner, to be hosted by Hero MotoCorp CEO and Managing Director Pawan Munjal.
Even the invitees, who are required to bring their cards, have been requested not to ask for autographs or photographs from Woods. The club members have also been asked to bring their membership cards.
Woods, who has been a long-time friend of top Indian golfer Arjun Atwal has been brought to India on a one-day private visit by Munjal, who has sent personal invitations to a select group of golf lovers.
Woods arrived late this evening on his personal jet, wearing a white crew neck tee and carrying a backpack and he was accompanied by his manager Mark Steinberg, wearing an open shirt over his dark coloured crew neck tee.
Woods is said to be staying at Maurya Hotel in the Presidential Suite, which has often been used by heads of states, including Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.
At the DGC, preparations have been going on in full swing since yesterday as the organisers left no stones unturned to roll out a red carpet welcome to the 14-time Major champion, who will be indulging in a round of golf, where apart from himself and Munjal, the other partners will be changing every couple of holes.
Indoor hoardings adorned with welcome message and grandstands overlooking the course near the first and 18th holes have been erected. The pathways of the golf course have also been bordered with white ropes and arrangements made to decorate the club lawn.
Woods will play a four-ball featuring, Shiv Kapur, Munjal and either Orlando-based Atwal or Anirban Lahiri. The foursome is expected to figure in a mini-match over the last three holes of the Delhi Golf Club course.
Munjal has sent personalised invitations to well-known corporates and is also said to have invited some leading international business leaders, who are early arrivals here in Delhi for the Auto Expo to be held from February 7 to 11.
Indian Golf Union Director General, Maj Gen Abhi Parmar said: "It is a great initiative. It will be a boost to Indian golf. I am sure after seeing the golf course here, he will be eager to come and play here soon. This visit will open the course for many other top golfers soon."
Arrangement were also made outside the main gate to scan the visitors before allowing entry inside the DGC.
"All the visitors will be scanned before entry and security will also be beefed up with police deployment. All other gates to the DGC has beens sealed," one of the security guards at the DGC said.
Indian golfer Manav Jaini said: "This is a big day for Indian golf. Every one is excited about his visit. The preparation are going on in full swing. It would have been great if he could have played a tournament here but he also has a busy schedule in America. I`m exited and I`ll be here in the morning before taking a flight to Sri Lanka in the afternoon."
, who finished tied 41st at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic yesterday, is reported to have been paid a fee of USD 2.5 million by Hero MotoCorp for the event. The 38-year-old was paid a similar amount for playing in Dubai last week.
When asked a specific question in Dubai, Tiger had said:
Arjun has been asking me to come to India, but somehow it never happened. Now it has. Yeah, I`m looking forward to it, finally going to go for my first time."
Ace Indian golfer, Kapur, who also played in the Dubai Desert Classic, feels Woods` visit will make a great impact on Indian golf.
"Tiger`s visit to India is going to make a huge impact and there is a big buzz already not only in Delhi but the whole country. I know the members at my club (DGC) are very excited and there is going to be people climbing all over the walls just to get a glimpse of Tiger," he had said.
Woods will also open a special `Tiger Woods` block of luxury apartments after Michael Schumacher and Maria Sharapova each unveiled similar named buildings.
The visit has been co-ordinated by WSG, who were also the promoters of Hero Indian Open from 2005 to 2011.