Golf.com's Most Beautiful Women in Golf 2015 feature recently debuted, and one of the tour professionals included is Michelle Piyapattra. Don't know her? Don't worry, you soon will.
Michelle found out she was under consideration for the feature in that most modern and social way: she was contacted by a Golf.com representative on Facebook. One of Piyapattra's friends was included in the 2014 feature, so Michelle "was ecstatic to get the opportunity," she told us.
"I thought it would be good exposure and also a good experience since I have never done a photo shoot before," she said. Her very first photo shoot? You can bet it won't be her last.
You can see Michelle's photo shoot on Golf.com, and some of the photos are included in the following behind-the-scenes video about the shoot (the photos at the top and bottom of this post are screenshots from the video):
What are the highlights of Piyapattra's golf career to date? Although she's been a professional for only a few months, she already has a victory in a pro tournament. Playing as an amateur last May, Michelle won the Canadian Tour's 2014 season-opener in a playoff.
"One of my biggest wins other than the Canadian Tour is winning the Ivy League Championship my freshman year in college," Piyapattra said. "I won by 10 strokes and was only the second Columbia player to win the Ivy League Championship individually."
Michelle was named to the All-Ivy League team as a freshman, and again as a sophomore and as a senior. For her sophomore season, she won the conference's Player of the Year award. And following her final season, Piyapattra won Columbia's Connie S. Maniatty Award as the school's top senior athlete. She won six times total during her years on the Columbia golf team.
All that while carrying a double major in political science and anthropology. So you won't be surprised to learn she was valedictorian of her California high school.
What's next for Michelle Piyapattra? The coming year will be her first full season as a pro golfer. She fell one stroke shy of making it to last month's LPGA Q-School final, but advancing into the second stage did earn her status on the Symetra Tour for 2015. She'll be playing some Cactus Tour dates, too, as well as the Suncoast and Grasshopper tours.
"I will also be doing the Canadian Tour again as well as some LPGA Monday qualifiers," Michelle told us. "My main focus will be Symetra Tour and trying to earn my tour card."