Photo by Jeff Lipsky courtesy ESPN The Magazine
If you haven't been paying attention lately, professional golfers on both sides of the gender aisle are getting hotter, with a big reason being the increased emphasis on fitness. So it doesn't surprise us that ESPN the Magazine selected one of the most physically fit women on the LPGA tour in Suzann Pettersen to appear completely naked in the 2012 installment of their Body Issue.
Ranked No. 6 in the world, and coming off of a top-10 finish at the U.S. Women's Open, the issue is hitting newsstands while the proverbial iron is hot. At 5' 9" and 150 pounds, the Norwegian has a naturally muscular build that lends itself to the notion that golfers are indeed athletes; something ESPN has taken notice of in their annual roster of nude photoshoots.
"A lot of the best athletes in the world have done it, and I thought it was great to be asked." Pettersen admitted to USA Today. "I just had to make sure that I was comfortable in doing it. It's as natural as it gets. It's health at its peak.
"I'm in great company."
Pettersen joins fellow LPGA tour players Belen Mozo, Christina Kim, Sandra Gal and Anna Grzebien who have posed in their birthday suit for the Body Issue. And lest we forget the uncomfortable naked spider-pose Camillo Villegas blessed us with in 2010. Alongside the likes of NBA center Tyson Chandler, NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski, recent Home Run Derby runner-up Jose Bautista, soccer forward Abby Wambach and seven players from the U.S. volleyball team, Pettersen knows she's in good company ... just don't expect it to become a regular thing.
"There's nothing to be ashamed about. I am honored that they asked me to be with world-class athletes. I won't be posing nude again, but I'm glad I did it."
ESPN The Magazine's 2012 Body Issue hits stands this Friday, July 13.
-- Derek Evers