Social media sensation Paige Spiranac says she is simply “blown away” by the landscape and dynamic energy of Dubai.
“Someone told me that Dubai is a mix of Las Vegas and Disney World. It’s way cooler than that. It’s just amazing,” said the 22-year-old social media sensation ahead of her maiden appearance in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
“I was pretty nervous before coming here and even cried in my room because it was my first time out of the country and really didn’t know what to expect. The experience has just been incredible.
“Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to come for my first tournament,” said Spiranac, who candidly admitted she will be even more nervous standing on the first tee on Wednesday.
“I can’t hide the fact that this is first my first big event. How I am going to handle it, I don’t know. It will be a new experience for me. I just want to prove myself because I have been really working hard on my game.
“It will all depend upon how I stay focused and keep my nerves under control,” said the young prodigy who turned professional in August this year after guiding her San Diego University to victory in the 2015 Mountain West Conference Golf Championship and winning the Colorado State Match Play Tournament.
“My short game is the strongest part of my game. I always rely on it because when I do get nervous, I tend to go a little bit both ways. Hopefully, things will be fine this week,” said Spiranac, who electrified her first ever press conference with her wit and humour.
“It will be pretty cool to be like Ironman and fly around everywhere and never be in traffic and do whatever I wanted,” said Spiranac, a self-confessed fan of comic books.
Her first appearance in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event in Dubai will also provide a snapshot of the popularity of a player who has 454,000 plus followers on Instagram and reaches another100,000 plus on her other social media platforms, making her a ‘queen of the greens.’
“I couldn’t have been here without it. I never really sought this out. It kind of just came to me. It has given me like a gateway to help my professional golf career,” said Spiranac, who looks up to Juli Inkster and Tiger Woods for inspiration.
“I like Juli because she is competitive and fun loving. Also, Tiger is so cool in the sense that everything he does, he looks just cool doing it. He is a legend,” said Spiranac, who is paired with Klara Spilkova and Maria Balikoeva for the opening round, the trio going out at 8.25am on Wednesday.
The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters is backed by OMEGA as the title sponsor and Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC as sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, JA Resorts and Hotels, Mercedes-Benz and wasl, while Dubai Duty Free, Neocasa Interiors and Motivate Publishing are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.