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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 February 2019

Emotional Paige Spiranac to ‘take a break from social media’ after missing cut at Dubai Ladies Masters

Asked to sum up her performance, Spiranac quipped that “a bar of soap could have probably played better,” a reference to a pre-tournament quote from World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies. Then came the tears, reports John McAuley.
Paige Spiranac of the United States plays her second shot on the par 3, 15th hole during the second round of the 2015 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on the Majlis Course at The Emirates Golf Club on December 10, 2015 in Dubai, UAE. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Paige Spiranac of the United States plays her second shot on the par 3, 15th hole during the second round of the 2015 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on the Majlis Course at The Emirates Golf Club on December 10, 2015 in Dubai, UAE. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

DUBAI // Paige Spiranac walked off the 18th green at Emirates Golf Club, set to walk out of the 2015 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters for good, and could not contain her emotions.

The American, playing her first professional tournament after accepting a sponsor’s invite, had just carded a seven-over par 79, meaning she concluded the event at 12-over with only five names below her on the leaderboard.

Asked to sum up her performance, Spiranac quipped that “a bar of soap could have probably played better,” a reference to a pre-tournament quote from World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies. Then came the tears.

“It was just a tough week for me, a lot of stress,” Spiranac managed, searching for the positives. “It was a great learning experience for me, I’m going to take a lot from it. I think I’m upset because it’s just been so much stress on me and a lot of pressure.

“I was invited here and wanted to prove it was for reasons other than just my social media.”

Read more Dubai Ladies Masters news:

Paige Spiranac relieved as nerves settle after first round at Dubai Masters

Laura Davies doesn’t know Paige Spiranac yet, but she’s willing to give the web sensation a shot

Spiranac’s online profile is considerably more substantial than her golfing CV. The former San Diego State player, 22, has more than half a million followers across Instagram and Twitter, so her every move is chronicled and, at times, criticised, too.

Speaking directly after her pro debut came to a premature end, Spiranac was obviously still reeling from a testing couple of days mixing it with the cream of the Ladies European Tour. Subsequently, the tear-jerk account of her week probably promoted a knee-jerk reaction.

“I’m definitely not going to look at my phone for a while, probably take a break from social media to step away and re-evaluate everything,” she said, as she tried to lighten the mood a little. “At the moment, the clubs are going in the water.

“I learned a lot this week and I grew a lot as a person. But I’ll go back home and re-evaluate everything and see if golf is still in my future or not.”

Her immediate future is a lot clearer. Spiranac followed Wednesday’s 77 with a 79 that included seven bogeys, one double-bogey and two birdies to come in eight shots below the cut-line.

She joked that at least the missed cut freed her up to see some more of Dubai, in what is her first trip outside of the United States. Understandably, Spiranac was worried about the waves her performance would create back on the other side of the Atlantic.

“It took a lot to come out here and go to a new country for the first time and playing in my first professional event with all these people looking at me and staring and wondering how I was going to do,” she said.

“I haven’t really been sleeping this whole week. A lot of pressure on me, a lot of which was self-induced. I worked really hard and I wanted to play really well. This isn’t how I play or have been playing, so it’s frustrating and very disappointing. Hopefully I can learn from this and grow as a person.”

Spiranac’s caddie for the week, a teaching professional at Emirates Golf Club named Brian Smyth, said he had been impressed with how hard she grinded throughout the entire round. Surely something to build on, then.

“My parents raised me well, they told me to fight for everything and I did,” Spiranac said. “I’m proud of coming out here and getting through this. I’ll definitely carry this with me for the rest of my life.

“Hopefully, other people now know about this tournament, are watching this tournament and I hope they watch the next two days and know how amazing these players are. I learned a lot and I’m really grateful for this experience.”

It may prove to be her only one on the Ladies European Tour. When it was put to Spiranac if she would like to return to the circuit, she responded: “I wanted to before all of this, but I’m just not sure if I have it in me or if I’m cut out for this.”

jmcauley@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Updated: December 10, 2015 04:00 AM

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