LPGA star Natalie Gulbis diagnosed with malaria

Natalie Gulbis waves to the crowd after her final round of the Evian Masters in Evian July 29,...

Natalie Gulbis waves to the crowd after her final round of the Evian Masters in Evian July 29, 2012. (REUTERS file photo)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 2:21 PM ET

LPGA Tour player Natalie Gulbis has contracted malaria and has been forced to withdraw from the RR Donnelley Founders Cup this week in Phoenix.

Gulbis became ill with flu-like symptoms in Asia two weeks ago and pulled out of the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore after the first round.

After she returned home to the United States, the illness persisted and Gulbis was diagnosed with malaria, the LPGA and IMG, Gulbis’ management company, comfirmed Wednesday.

“Natalie originally became ill in Singapore and she was treated and medically cleared to fly home,” the LPGA and IMG said in a joint statement. “Natalie continues to be treated at home and is expected to be at full strength in three weeks. Natalie’s well-being is a top priority for both the LPGA and IMG, and steps continue to be taken to ensure the well-being of Natalie and all the players on the LPGA Tour now and for future events.

“LPGA doctors have been consulted and believe she is on appropriate medications, under great care, and her prognosis is excellent.“

Gulbis is resting and hopes to return for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of the season, in early April.


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