Some of you know exactly who Paige Spiranac is but if you don’t, here is the low-down.
Paige Spiranac is an Instagram sensation. Meaning that she has made a name for herself via her Instagram account where she posts photos (mostly, but not always involving golf) and has garnered a whopping 485,000 followers, all in less than a year.
And it’s largely on the back of this attention that she scored an invitation in her first professional golf tournament, the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters that teed off overnight. And not surprisingly it has attracted some criticism.
Spiranac didn’t have the best start to the tournament shooting a 5-over par 77, 11 strokes behind the leader. And as you may already be thinking, this is a strange way to earn a spot in a the field of a professional golf tournament.
Spiranac first popped up on social media in this trick shot video we posted earlier in the year, when she played golf at the University of Arizona.
The 22-year-old began to turn heads (or phones) when she started posting photos to her own Instagram account and the followers sky-rocketed.
She has since drawn the attention of Callaway who have featured Spiranac in a number of promotional videos and on the back of all this, got herself a spot in this week’s golf tournament which she understands is not to everyone’s liking.
“I’m very grateful to be here because of the social media. But it’s really weird how it came about, because I never really sought this out,” Spiranac said before the tournament. “It kind of just came to me. So it’s been a learning process of like dealing with everything and receiving negative comments and also the positive comments and how to balance those two.”
😂😂😩 Because posting the trick shots you actually pull off are boring. This is all @jennisis11 fault. Now my trick shot days are over. #fore #putaneyeout A video posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on
Spiranac is certainly no slouch on the golf course and is clearly a very good player, but the American has faced some harsh criticism based largely on the view that she is only in the field based on her looks.
“So last night, I was like in my room, kind of locked the door and I was like, I’m not going to play tomorrow, they can’t make me. I was crying and I didn’t want to go. So I guess today was pretty good compared to how bad I thought it was going to go after last night,” Spiranac said after he first round.
“It was funny, my first drive, I was so nervous. My hands were shaking. I couldn’t even like think straight and I just snap hook it like 20 yards and I end up making par, which kind of steadied my nerves a little bit.”
Whether or not Spiranac can raise her game to the next level to compete on the professional stage remains to be seen, but it seems she is very much aware of her situation and the publicity surrounding her first professional appearance.
“I played golf and I’ve had good results, but 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,” Spiranac said before the tournament started. “They do have a right to say that, yeah, she’s not on Tour, because I’m not on Tour. I just turned pro and this is all new.”
Whatever happens this week, you can be sure you’ll seeing more of Paige Spiranac in the coming years.