October 10, 2010
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Cigar Guy's secret identity has been revealed, and in the end, the truth was right in front of our faces all along.
Cigar Guy is, of course, the mysterious grinning stranger in the corner of that famous Daily Mail Tiger Woods photo from the Ryder Cup last week. Wearing what appeared to be a turban and smoking a cigar the size of a small tree, the absurdly out-of-place Cigar Guy kicked off a worldwide Internet game of Photoshop one-upsmanship. Within moments, Cigar Guy began showing up all throughout history, like here:
But at long last, he's been found! The London Daily Mail did the investigative work, and it turns out that Cigar Guy is actually a mild-mannered, mildly embarrassed young man! (Isn't that always the way with our heroes?) Cigar Guy is Rupesh Shingadia, a 30-year-old investment analyst who lives in South London.
[Shocking photo: The golf swing behind an August wildfire]
The first clue that Cigar Guy was not all he seemed was the fact that the "turban" turned out to be a ponytail wig, as you can see here from this alternate angle:
And as it turned out, the mustache was fake too. Shingadia was a few weeks early for Halloween. But who was the inspiration for his costume? Why, someone that golf fans should have recognized instantly, of course:
That's right, he was dressed as Miguel Angel Jimenez, the smooth, cigar-smoking golf version of The Most Interesting Man In The World.
"I wanted to do something to show my support for the European team, and I thought of Miguel," Shingadia told the Daily Mail. "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."
Beyond that, well ... there's not really all that much to tell about a guy that dressed up as another guy and happened to end up the focus of attention in one of the most celebrated photos of the year, if not the decade. Shingadia said he had no intention of playing to the TV cameras; he was there to watch some golf.
"My friends were keen to get me together with Miguel," he said. "I was quite close to him at the 13th. I like to think there was a flicker of a smile when he looked in my direction. His caddie was certainly laughing."
And a few holes later, with one fateful Woods mis-hit, so was the rest of the planet.
[Visor tip: Sports By Brooks]
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