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Natalie Gulbis to miss LPGA opener while recovering from malaria

March 13, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Natalie Gulbis plays an approach shot during the first round of the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore last month.
Natalie Gulbis plays an approach shot during the first round of the HSBC… (Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images )

Natalie Gulbis, a veteran golfer from Sacramento, will miss the LPGA Tour's season opener this week as she undergoes treatment for malaria, the LPGA and IMG, Gulbis' management company, announced on Wednesday.

Gulbis, who withdrew two weeks ago from the HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore because of an illness later confirmed to be malaria, is receiving treatment at her home in Las Vegas and is expected to make a full recovery within three weeks.

The LPGA season opens this week at Wildfire Golf Course in Phoenix with the Founders Cup tournament.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng will try to repeat as the Founders Cup winner. Tseng hasn't won since back-to-back victories in the Founders Cup and Kia Classic last March. Stacy Lewis, ranked No. 3 in the world, won the HSBC Women's Champions title.

Gulbis announced through IMG that she had to withdraw from the Founders Cup to continue receiving treatment for malaria. She is targeting the LPGA's first major of the season, the Nabisco Dinah Shore on April 4-7, for her return to play.

She has three professional victories, including one on the LPGA Tour when she defeated Jeong Jang on the first playoff hole at the 2007 Evian Masters.

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