Tiger Woods' Delhi visit expected to raise golf profile in India
Woods is visiting the world's largest democratic nation for the first time to compete on Tuesday in an 18-hole corporate outing on the Delhi Golf Club in the India capital.
The 14-time major winner has been invited by Pawan Munjal, CEO and Managing Director of the Hero Motor Group, one of the largest motor cycle manufacturers in the world.
Munjal, who first met Woods in Florida some years back during the staging of the annual Tavistock Cup, was in Dubai up until Friday night local time finalising arrangements for Tuesday's historic visit.
Woods also will open a special 'Tiger Woods' block of luxury apartments after Michael Schumacher and Maria Sharapova each unveiled similar named buildings.
The 14-time Major winner will play alongside Munjal and European Tour based Shiv Kapur, who is also a member at the Delhi Club and is sponsored by Hero.
Joining the trio will be one of Woods long-time golfing friends and PGA Tour colleague, Arjun Atwal who resides on the exclusive Isleworth Estate in Flordia where Woods lived for much of his career.
Kupur is the son of an Indian stock broker and graduated from Purdue University where he was an all-American.
The 31-year old is one of India's most successful golfers first winning the Asian Tour ‘Rookie of the Year' title in 2005 after capturing the Volvo Masters of Asia championship.
Kupur has won twice on the secondary Challenge Tour but still awaits a first main Tour victory.
"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," said Kupur after shooting a third round of 70 at the Dubai Desert Classic.
"I know the members at my club are very excited and there is going to be people climbing all over the walls just to get a glimpse of Tiger.
"But the interest he will generate even in his short visit is not just from a golf perspective but basically he is one of the biggest celebrities in the world and with him coming to India for a first time is going to generate a huge amount of interest in golf.
"As everyone knows cricket dominates sport in India, so for at least one day the world's top golfer is going to steal all the attention away from the Sachin Tendulkars and Virender Sehwags and it's all going to be about golf and Tiger Woods.
"So I really don't see any downside in his visit, and I can only see an upside with more attention to golf with Woods coming to India it can only increase the fan base.
"All the members and juniors at Delhi Golf Club will be watching with enormous interest, and while it will not be open to the media it's all about promoting the game, Delhi Golf Club and golf.
"Tiger's already had such a big impact on golf in India because seven or eight years ago we never saw young kids in India taking up golf and now in India those playing the game are getting young and younger and that's predominantly due to Tiger.
"So his visit to Delhi and India is going to generate huge spin offs."
Kapur has never met Woods but is expecting to do that before the close of play in Dubai on Sunday.
At present there are only a dozen golf courses in Delhi that boasts a population of close to 18 million whereas there is believed to be some 280 to 300 golf course in India.