Yep, Michigan State. Big 10 Champions when she was on the team.
I think the answer lies in the facts and history, very few people would know who the model was from the LPGA. There are 12 covers a year, at least one of those covers is dedicated to equipment not a person. Of the other 11, how many are of PGA pro's that do not already get a lot of media attention. Golfers get covers if they are well known, won a Major recently or are at least in the Top 25 on PGA.
I consider the Paulina cover in the same way I did the Sonders cover, except Sonders works on the GC, neither belong on a cover because of their golf skills they just look hot (imo).
- Sonders also works in the industry and is well respected for that work. She was a D-1 collegiate golfer whose team won the Big-10 Championship while she played. Possible pro career ruined by a serious knee injury.....playing basketball if I remember correctly.
- Paulina sleeps with DJ.
I see a little disparity in each of their affiliation with the sport of golf.....