- Social media sensation Paige Spiranac set for pro debut
- The American received invite to Omega Dubai Ladies Masters
- "Instagram has given me this opportunity," she said
Instagram sensation Paige Spiranac says she’s ‘extremely nervous’ ahead of her professional debut at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters – and knows she wouldn’t be at the event if not for her sizeable social media following.
The 22-year-old has left the USA for the very first time after receiving an invite to play in the Middle East, with tournament organisers saying she ‘is like a breath of fresh air and one who has all the attributes to become a strong ambassador for the future of women’s golf’.
"I'm very grateful to be here because of social media" - Paige Spiranac
And with 469,000 followers on Instagram, an astonishing number when compared to the likes of Lexi Thompson (108,000), Lydia Ko (38,700) and Charley Hull (12,000), Spiranac admits that it is that, not her golfing ability, which has resulted in the invite.
“I wouldn't be here without it,” said Paige Spiranac. “I'm very grateful to be here because of social media. It's really weird how it came about because I never really sought this out. It kind of just came to me.
“It's been a learning process, but I'm very fortunate that I have all these followers and they do like watching me and liking what I do. So I think that's really cool, and it's given me a gateway to help my professional golf career, and that's really what I want to do is just play golf because I love it so much. So I'm happy that Instagram has kind of given me that opportunity.”
But Dubai is the perfect opportunity for Spiranac, who turned professional in the summer, to prove that she can compete among some of the best players in the world and be known for that rather than for her social media exploits.
“When you look at my game compared to, you know, say the top players in the world, I'm not in the same league as them,” she admitted. “I’ve just turned pro and this is all new. I may make it and I may not make it. I'm just trying to focus on what I need to do to get to that next level and try not to focus on what people say too much and try to focus on all the positive.”
So what are Spiranac’s aims for the week? “To not throw up on the first tee is No.1,” she said. “I'm extremely nervous. It's my first big tournament and first time I've been here and first time out of the country, so it's kind of a lot. Just trying to keep everything like calm and collected and seem like I'm keeping it together, I think that's the main goal right now.”
The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, which takes place at Emirates Golf Club, begins on Wednesday.Paige Spiranac :: How will she get on?
What is your opinion on Paige Spiranac getting a tournament invitation based on her social media reputation and how do you think she’ll fare this week? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.