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Lexi Thompson poses topless for cover of Golf Digest’s fitness issue (photo)

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Lexi Thompson, currently the world’s ninth-ranked women’s golfer, has landed the cover of Golf Digest’s annual fitness issue. Although the fact that the 20-year-old is posing topless with nothing more than a towel draped around her neck likely will attract some negative publicity. But as the magazine knows all too well, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

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Of course, nothing about this bold move by Golf Digest should come as shocking in the least. It was only last year that the magazine generated controversy — and sold a lot of issues and garnered a ton of clicks on its website — by putting Paulina Gretzky on the cover of its fitness issue. The move drew criticism from all over, including LPGA players, partly due to the fact that Gretzky is only tangentially involved in the world of golf by being the fiancĂ©e of Dustin Johnson (although she and the golfer have since had a child).

So, in some ways, Golf Digest at least is arguably attempting to get out ahead of any potential controversy by at least featuring a female professional golfer on the cover of the issue … posing topless.

It’s a start, in a way, but the provocative Thompson cover likely will not be greeted as such by those who criticized Gretky landing on the cover last year.

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