Paige Spiranac is the first pro golfer featured in Sports Illustrated’s annual “Swimsuit” issue since Natalie Gulbis posed with a painted-on bikini in the 2012 issue.
The Spiranac pictures show the 24-year-old in a variety of swimwear, including a Wonder Woman-inspired two-piece, as well a black bikini showing off plenty of skin.
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) February 6, 2018
— SI Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) February 6, 2018
Spiranac said the term professional golfer is a bit of loose jargon these days, as she isn’t currently interested in pursuing a professional golf career. After playing on invitation to the Ladies European Tour event in Dubai in consecutive years, Spiranac grew tired of the online harassment, death threats she says she got, as well treatment from those in golf.
Spiranac told Golf.com that she felt honored to be included in the issue because the Swimsuit issue, in her view, supports the same body positivity she champions online. She said, “They stand for everything I believe in, which is empowerment of women, body positivity, being able to love yourself for who you are. They allow women to feel sexy if they want to feel sexy no matter what they look like or what size they are.”
Spiranac said this was her first swimsuit photo shoot.
“It was so cool to be out there and feel so empowered,” she said. “This is my body, let’s embrace it.”
Kelly Rohrbach is also an accomplished golfer, playing in college at Georgetown. While she’s not a pro, she’s been competing at the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and in other celebrity golf events.
Blair O’Neal didn’t appear in the SI swimsuit issue as a model selected by the magazine, but she did appear in an orange bikini in an ad for Cobra Golf.