Paige Spiranac will spearhead a new crop of social media-savvy players aiming to take the fairways by storm when she makes her maiden appearance in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club from December 9 to 12.
Her game trending in the right direction, the 22-year-old micro-celebrity promises to light up the tournament with her own flair, exuberance and a classical swing when she joins a star-studded field led by defending champion Shanshan Feng of China.
With sporting prowess running in the family, Spiranac flashed a glimpse of her burgeoning talent, guiding her San Diego University to victory in the 2015 Mountain West Conference Golf Championship and winning the Colorado State Match Play Tournament.
The daughter of Dan Spiranac, who himself was a member of the 1976 Pittsburgh National Championship football team, took to golf after a vaulting accident cut short her gymnastics career when she was just 12.
Gymnastics’ loss may turn out to be women’s golf’s gain as Spiranac has set her sights on the LPGA Tour to give wings to her dream of becoming the “best female golfer” in the world.
It will become known in the course of time, but her regal bearing, love of fashion and social networking will sure bring special energy to women’s golf, looking to attract new talent and flourish.
Her first appearance in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event in Dubai will 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 am very excited about making my first trip to Dubai and it will be fun playing in a tournament that always boasts a strong field with some of the top players from both sides of the Atlantic joining the starting line-up,” said Spiranac, also a four-time Junior PGA Championship qualifier and a three-time US Girls’ Junior Amateur participant.
“I have heard many great things about Dubai as a city, but also about the golf there, and I’m looking forward to experiencing it for myself. I am grateful to golf in DUBAi for believing in me. Their invitation to play in the tournament has set my dreams on fire,” said Spiranac, who completed her graduation in communications earlier this year.
“I have a great respect for the players on the Ladies European Tour, and competing alongside them will be a big learning curve. I am sure it will be a great week,” said the young prodigy who hails from Scottsdale, Arizona.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, who are the promoters and organisers of the event, said: “Paige 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.
“She belongs to a new breed of golfers who are fun-loving and pro-active on social media, bringing a vibrant atmosphere to the course, which is great.
“In this digital age, the game must open up to ‘savvy, social media types’ to attract new talent to the sport as great Greg Norman said the other day. I am on the same page as the Great White Shark as, I believe, it will just be a sign of the times in an ever-changing world.”
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.