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How about starting the LPGA Bikini Classic

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When Ian Poulter posed in Europe’s Golf World magazine last year wearing nothing but a golf bag covering his private parts, it was controversial.

The fact that he showed so much skin wasn’t what got golf fans riled up.

It was that he was quoted saying once he reached his full potential, golf would become “just me and Tiger.”

News is breaking now that three LPGA pros – Sandra Gal, Anna Grzebien and Christina Kim – will appear with other athletes in states of undress in ESPN The Magazine’s Oct. 19 specially themed “Bodies” issue. It’s sure to raise debate about whether doing so undermines or enhances the LPGA’s image. How tastefully the photos are done will frame the nature of the conversation, but you can bet a lot of folks will be scrambling to see the issue. The guess here, though, is that the greatest outrage among LPGA fans will be over the fact that Natalie Gulbis and Anna Rawson weren't in the photo shoot.

There’s no doubting the photographs will draw greater attention to those LPGA pros involved in the ESPN shoot, but will it carry over to greater interest in the tour as a whole?

The guess here is that it won’t . . . unless Gal, Grzebien and Kim become regular names on leaderboards.

Sports fans like their stars to be sexy, but performance matters immensely. Nobody’s going to rush out and buy tickets to see these three players struggle to make cuts . . . unless the tour’s going to allow them to play in bikinis.