Golf influencer Paige Spiranac paid tribute to LPGA legend Jan Stephenson Tuesday in an LA Golf ad.
Spiranac posed apparently nude in a bathtub full of golf balls. She captioned the photo posted to Twitter with a simple two-word question: «Do you have balls?»
«He was inspired by the legend itself!» Spiranac added, via TMZ Sports. «We’re working on something special to honor her. I love recreating images of women who have inspired me and also giving credit where credit is due. Jan is the OG.»
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Stephenson, a native of Australia, posed apparently nude in a tub of golf balls in the 1980s. He is a 16-time LPGA Tour winner and has won the Women’s PGA Championship, the US Women’s Open, and the Classic du Maurier. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2019.
She was known as a sex symbol on the golf course and made it clear that the description didn’t always sit well with her, according to news.au.com.
«I always thought it was a compliment (to be considered a glamor girl), but undeserved,» she said after winning the US Open in 1983. «There are a lot of pretty girls on the tour and I keep hoping that people will say something about them, but also we have to win.
«I don’t really feel like I’m a glamor girl or a sex symbol because the most important thing to me is golf… But then again, I still care about how I look.»
Spiranac may not have had the same success in professional golf as Stephenson, but he’s still blazing his own trail on social media and impacting the game in a different way.
In March, he revealed why he didn’t pursue a professional golf career after succeeding at San Diego State.
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«I got to the point where I stopped caring,» he said. «I wanted to have more of a social life. I wanted to have fun. I was tired of dedicating my life to something and just not seeing the result. So when I was playing at SDSU, I lost my desire for it.»
She was set to become SDSU’s assistant golf coach, but suddenly she became a social media sensation.
«I was playing very well and then my whole life was turned upside down,» Spiranac said. «I blew up on social media. I didn’t end up going back to being an assistant coach. I didn’t even finish my last semester of college. I never got my degree, which is such a crazy thing and I’ve never talked about it. I was two credits short of getting my qualification».
She noticed that things really changed when she traveled to Dubai to play.
«…Then I got the invitation to go play in Dubai. I blew up there. I played golf professionally for a year and I was mentally exhausted. In golf, you fail more than you succeed, and I was doing it in the public eye. Everybody told me, ‘You should quit. You should give up. You’re no good.'»
«All these things, and I was already dealing with these mental issues from years and years and years of trying so hard and coming up short, and I broke down. I honestly broke down. I broke down and stopped. I said, ‘Maybe I’ll come back,’ and I’ll never I’m back to try to play golf professionally again.
He currently works with various brands and attends events as a golf influencer. Spiranac said that she is happy with her current career, but given the choice, she would choose to play competitively rather than influence.
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«If I had the option to do what I’m doing to play on the LPGA Tour, I would probably choose the LPGA Tour because that was just a goal that I always wanted to achieve and it was a dream of mine and I wish I would have marked it off before I went on to work on the full-time media,» Spiranac said. «But that’s not how life works.»
Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.