Dubai: Golf social media sensation Paige Spiranac has been appointed official starter for the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, to be held at Emirates Golf Club from January 25-28.
The 24-year-old American has competed in the Ladies European Tour’s Omega Dubai Ladies Masters as a player at the same venue for the past two years running, but is now having a go behind the microphone to become the voice of the men’s equivalent tournament as well.
“I am absolutely delighted and feel privileged to have been offered this interesting role by the promoters,” said Spiranac. “Meeting and interacting with many of the greats of the game on the first tee will be just awesome. I just can’t wait to get started.
“It will be my first time in a role like this and I’m excited about this opportunity. As the field attracts players from so many different countries, getting the pronunciation of their names right will also be challenging and fun.
“Playing in Dubai in the last two years was a great learning curve for me both inside and outside the ropes. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and I am looking forward to being a part of the Dubai family again,” added Spiranac, who became a social media phenomenon when her golf team at San Diego State created a trick-shot video that got millions of views.
The golf influencer, who has more social media followers than any LPGA Tour professional — 1.2 million on Instagram and 162,000 on twitter — helped guide her San Diego University side to victory in the 2015 Mountain West Conference Golf Championship and won the Colorado State Match Play Tournament.
She made the cut at the 2016 Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links and went on to capture her first professional victory on the Cactus Tour later in the year.
David Spencer, tournament director and advisor to Golf in Dubai, the promoters and organisers of the event, said: “Paige belongs to a new breed of golfers who are fun-loving and pro-active on social media, bringing a vibrant atmosphere to the course.
“I think it’s great for the game to open up to social media savvy platforms in whatever capacity it can to attract new talent and a wider audience. Paige is an interesting character, one who lends her celebrity status to a number of charity events. She’s got a heart of gold.
“We look forward to welcoming her at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January and hope her presence will draw a huge gallery to the first tee, pretty much setting in stone her relationship with the city. I think we have some exciting times ahead of us.”