Internet sensation Paige Spiranac overcame some pro-debut jitters to shoot 77 in the first round of the Ladies European Tour’s Dubai Ladies Masters. She is 11 shots off the lead.
Spiranac, who boasts more than 500,000 Twitter and Instagram followers, said that she was so nervous on the eve of her debut that she cried in her hotel room and didn’t want to play.
“So I guess today was pretty good compared to how bad I thought it was going to go last night,” she told reporters.
Spiranac, who is playing on a sponsor exemption, is tied for 94th in the 108-player field. The former San Diego State golfer has endured criticism that the only reason she was invited to play in the event was because of her appearance and social-media popularity.
“I understand where they are coming from,” she told reporters Thursday. “I’ve played golf and have had good results, but when you look at my game compared to the top players in the world, I’m not in the same league. But I wish they could see that I’m working as hard as I can. I may make it; I may not make it. But I’m just trying to focus on what I need to do to get to the next level and trying not to focus on what they say.”