- The Englishwoman was interviewed ahead of this week’s Omega Dubai Ladies Masters
- Laura Davies indicates there is some unease amongst players about Paige’s inclusion.
Paige Spiranac’s LPGA debut has received a lot of coverage in the build up to this week’s tournament in Dubai, with CLICKON being no exception to the media frenzy.
There has been mutterings around the camp about the appropriateness of Paige receiving a sponsor’s invite to compete in her maiden LPGA tournament.“I’ve obviously heard what some of the players have said, but I’ve not met her,” Davies said. “I don’t know her from a bar of soap,” she quipped.
With 85 professional wins, Davies is described as “a veritable doyen of women’s golf” and it’s pretty obvious Laura hasn’t joined the hoards of admirers who propose to Spiranac’s Instagram page on a daily basis.
“Everyone needs a chance and if she’s a good player, then it’s great she’s here. If she’s here for any other reason than she’s a great golfer, then it’s a little bit pointless. But we have to give her a chance. She might go and win the tournament and then it’s the best decision ever made.”
It’s clear the organisers are keen to do everything to boost the profile of this week’s competition with dinners, social events, photo opportunities, all being put on to publicise the golf. It’s actually quite refreshing to see the usually flat footed LPGA jump on an opportunity of this magnitude. This is prime time for a big publicity push when you consider men’s golf is taking a rare break.
Carly Booth has also accepted an invite to play. The British golfer has done similar things for the profile of women’s golf with her fitness related twitter page.
There might be a few eyebrows raised about certain players getting an invite, but the only way we’re going to reverse the contraction of women’s golf is if by utilising the enormous following of social media behemoths like Paige Spiranac. Her intentions do seem pretty sincere after all: “I’d like to change the perception that [golf] is more of a sport now. I’d also like fans to be more interactive with the players and make it like all the other sporting events because it’s kind of boring just standing there and watching other people play.”
The truth of the matter is that the world number one, Lydia Ko, has a tenth the social following that Paige Spiranac does. Inviting players with profiles is just as important for the growth of the game and with critics ready to pounce, it will be a fascinating week to see if the American can prove a few doubters wrong.