Plenty of sizzle to Gulbis' game

Natalie Gulbis practices yesterday at the Hunt Club in Ottawa. (Sun Media/Blair Gable)

Natalie Gulbis practices yesterday at the Hunt Club in Ottawa. (Sun Media/Blair Gable)

SHANE ROSS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

Natalie Gulbis is one of the most recognizable faces and -- thanks to sexy calendars and magazine spreads -- bodies in the LPGA. But if she is getting tired of all the attention she gets, she didn't show it yesterday at the Hunt Club.

Everywhere she went in her beige adidas sweater and skirt, a crowd of about 100 followed, snapping pictures and asking for autographs.

Smiling, she obliged them all, even one reporter who had the audacity to ask who she thought was the sexiest player on the LPGA Tour.

"Cristie Kerr," she told me with certainty.

Gulp. Next question?

Do you ever get tired of reporters asking you silly questions?

"No," she said, this time with a little less certainty.

But surely she must expect questions that have nothing to do with her golf game. The 5-foot-9 blond has been in the media spotlight ever since the USGA deemed her racy 2005 calendar inappropriate and banned it from being sold at the U.S. Women's Open.

REALITY TV SHOW

She even has her own reality TV show, The Natalie Gulbis Show, which airs on The Golf Channel.

She has done for women's golf what Anna Kournikova did for tennis. But unlike Kournikova, Gulbis has actually won a tournament -- the Evian Masters in 2007 -- and, at 25 years of age, has the potential to win some more, including this week's CN Canadian Women's Open.

She has made $251,699 on tour this year, good for 52nd on the money list, and has made more than $3.6 million since turning pro in 2002. That's not including the money she makes off the course. (The calendars have been big sellers -- a guy's gotta know what day of the week it is, after all.)

She can drive a ball 250 yards off the tee and averages 71 strokes a round, so a golf-related question was in order.

What's the best part of your game right now?

"Irons," she said with certainty, still signing autographs and posing for pictures as she made her way from the practice green to the clubhouse.

By noon, she was gone. Time to rest up, get her beauty sleep. She'll be getting the same kind of attention all week in Ottawa. And that's a certainty.


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