Friday, March 15, 2013

Golfer and model Natalie Gulbis pulls out of LPGA tour because of malaria

Natalie Gulbis — the glamorous pro golfer known as much for her modeling photos as her game — was forced to pull out of the Florida LPGA Founders Cup because of a case of malaria she contracted during the tour's Asian swing.

The LPGA Tour and the International management Group said Wednesday that Gulbis is being treated at home in Las Vegas and is expected to be back at full strength in three weeks.

Gulbis pulled out of the HSBC Women's Champions before the second round two weeks ago in Singapore because of an illness that was later to be diagnosed as malaria.

"I am bummed to not be able to play this week's LPGA Event in Arizona and appreciate all the sweet comments on twitter from everyone," she wrote.

The 30-year-old is famous for posing for Sports Illustrated wearing nothing more than body paint.

The warm-climate disease is caused by parasites usually spread by mosquitoes and the outcome — with proper treatment — is usually good within a couple of weeks.  90% of the reported malaria cases occur in Africa.

LPGA doctors have been consulted and her prognosis is excellent.

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