Paige Spiranac admitted nerves were at breaking point when she stepped on to the first tee, but she walked off the Majlis course with a sense of relief lighting up her face.

 

“I am so glad to have it out of the way,” said the 22-year-old prodigy, who opened with a 77 in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, her first big event since turning professional four months ago.

 

“I wouldn’t say I was dreading this, but certainly was nervous and anxious thinking about this for the last couple of months. So, to have it kind of over, it’s a relief and I am really excited about my second round,” said Spiranac, whose round contained one birdie, four bogeys and a double bogey.

 

With her hands shaking, Spiranac snap-hooked her opening drive on the 10th – her starting hole — but ended up making a par to steady her nerves. Just when it looked things were on cruise control, she dropped three shots in a four-hole stretch, starting from the 16th.

 

She picked up her first birdie as a professional on the par-3, fourth, but a double bogey on the ninth undermined her efforts.

 

“Overall, it was a pretty good round except for the shot on the last hole where I hit into the water. Yes, I am pretty happy with how it went for my first round and considering how nervous I was.

 

“My short game kept me going in the first part of the round and towards the end, I started to get my rhythm back and hit some pretty good golf shots, Hopefully, I can carry that over to the second round and just play how I know I am capable of playing,” said the social media sensation.

 

Any message to your half a million Instagram followers?

 

“Please be nice to me. I know a 77 is not the best score, but I broke 80, and I know people were putting bets on it. They were saying I wasn’t going to, so at least I got that going for me!”