By Kent Gray
Like any ambitious teen hoping to make a good impression on the first day of her first job, Muni He reported for duty feeling a little anxious. She needn’t have fretted.
He certainly impressed her new boss – that person being the 18-year-old herself – with a pleasing one-under 71 to be just four shots off the pace after the opening day of the 12th OMEGA Dubai Ladies Classic.
“I think it went pretty smoothly,” He said of her first round as a professional after relinquishing her amateur status the previous evening.
“I was a bit nervous just because I came from stage 3 [the final LPGA Tour Q-School qualifier in Florida] and I didn’t really perform too well there [she finished tied 89th with a seven over total]. But I was just kind of able to play my own golf. I had a lot of fun out there.”
After shooting 76-76 to miss the cut as an amateur in Dubai last December, He’s first shift was indeed an unqualified success that no one really saw coming.
“Last year here, it [turning pro] definitely didn’t cross my mind, but I think it became a topic throughout the year and I think I knew it was something that I really wanted to do. I’m very excited for next year.”
She’ll play on the secondary Symetra Tour in 2018 but wants a big finish in Dubai beforehand. Perhaps the most encouraging sign yesterday was an uncooperative putter. He counted six missed birdie attempts inside 18 feet. “I had a lot of really good chances that I missed. That’s okay. It just means there’s room for improvement. I’m pretty happy.”