When Tiger Woods duffed a shot at the Ryder Cup, the ball zipped directly toward photographer Mark Pain of the Daily Mail. Pain managed to snap an incredible picture, but his good timing isn’t getting nearly as much attention as a bystander in a funny-looking mustache and wig. Yes, that’s all it takes now to become a celebrity.
The “Cigar Guy” has quickly become the new Chuck Norris, inspiring amateur Photoshop junkies everywhere. The Daily Mail says he dressed in tribute to Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez, but who knew Cigar Guy also appeared in Donnie Darko? Or knocked out Sonny Liston? Or watched Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald? Got an idea of your own? The website knowyourmeme.com posted a Cigar Guy template.
But who is he? Time pleads on its Newsfeed blog for the man behind the mustache to identify himself. That would probably be pointless, because he’ll never be known by anything but Cigar Guy for the rest of his life. Or at least for the rest of the month, and then a new funny-looking bystander will dominate the Internets.
Interview with photographer Mark Pain:
Harry Smith: Instead of [the golf ball] going high up into the air and over your head, what happened?
Mark Pain: Normally — 99 times out of 100, or for Tiger 99,000 times out of 100,000 — he would just chip that to within two or three inches of the hole. When we’re working with Tiger we’ve never had any problems getting that near to him because we know that it’s never going to be an issue.
But all the grass had been trampled by the spectators and he just seemed to catch it really wrong, and it just dinked out to his right and it just headed straight towards me, hit my camera and then hit me, and then landed at my feet. And Tiger’s face — he almost couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe he played such a bad shot, really.
Smith: Did Tiger or his caddie say anything to you like, “You’re really too close, you need to move back a little bit”?
Pain: They did … and then we all moved back. Tiger’s caddie Steve [Williams], he’s got a reputation for being very very strict with us photographers … but no, we were all in a perfect position, and the marshalls had agreed where we were. … There was a very wide angle for him to play a shot into towards the green.
Smith: Was it just instinct that made you click the shot?
Pain: It’s pretty much instinct. … You totally focusing on Tiger’s expression because once the ball goes past you there are still moments there to capture. He can throw his club away, celebrate, do whatever he does.
Smith: And the camera’s okay?
Pain: Camera’s fine. It’s a Nikon D3S, it’s taken a bit of a knock here but it’s absolutely perfect. … And it’s only a month old.