By now, nearly everyone on the planet has heard of the Cigar Guy, a cigar-smoking, wig-wearing, mustachioed figure in the background of the famous photograph by The Maill on Sunday’s (UK) Mark Pain. Taken during last week’s Ryder Cup that showed Tiger Woods fluffing a chip shot with the ball heading straight towards the camera lens.
The “cigar guy” in the picture turned into a Internet meme with his picture PhotoShopped into dozens of famous pictures and record albums. You’d think with that fame the guy would come running forward right away, but instead, he has remain hidden until now. That is, until you learn WHY he was dressed this way.
Nicknamed ‘Cigar Guy’ he became an overnight internet phenomenon after the picture appeared in The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline last week. Suddenly millions were obsessed with the moustachioed mystery man. His smiling face was pasted into the backdrop of countless historic photographs which then buzzed around the net. He acquired his own fan club and received marriage proposals.
A reward was offered to anyone who could unmask him. With the story making headlines around the world – it was covered by titles as august as the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine – one question was being asked with growing frequency: just who is Cigar Guy? Last night, The Mail on Sunday tracked down Cigar Guy to a detached house in South London where he is living with his parents, a retired mechanic and a housewife.
We can reveal that Cigar Guy is golf fan Rupesh Shingadia, a 30-year-old investment analyst in the City – and a very reluctant star. ‘I am embarrassed and overwhelmed,’ he said in an exclusive interview. ‘Never in a million years could I have expected anything like this. “It is truly surreal.’
Rupesh said his costume was a ‘tribute’ 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.’