Natalie Gulbis Will Retire at End of Season

Natalie Gulbis is playing in her 332nd LPGA Tour event this week, the Gainbridge LPGA at Boco Rio, after announcing that she will retire at the end of the season because of back injuries that have hampered her for more than 10 years.

The 37-year-old Gulbis, who was born and raised in Sacramento and attended the University of Arizona after playing on the Boys’ Team at Granite Bay High School, has played a limited schedule in recent years.

“The results said it all,” Gulbis said of her play the last two years. “For someone who plays to win, I haven’t come close. … Lingering physical issues have prevented me from being the player I was. If I can‘t give my best, I don’t want to be out there.

Last year, she made the cut only once in eight starts.

Gulbis, who played in her first LPGA Tour event as a 14-year-old amateur in 1997, left Arizona to turn pro at age 18 in 2001. Her only individual victory came in 2007 at the Evian Masters, which later became a major championship, when she beat Jeong Jang of South Korea with a birdie on the first playoff hole.

Her only three other victories came in the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge representing the LPGA Tour on three-player team that included Cristie Kerr each time, and also Morgan Pressel in 2007, Suzann Pettersen in 2009 and Stacy Lewis in 2013.

In 2005, Gulbis finished sixth on the LPGA money list more than $1 million in earnings, and she placed in the top 10 in four consecutive majors from the 2005 LPGA Championship to the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Gulbis has had success as a model and appeared in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue wearing only body paint, and also produced her own calendar in 2005, appearing in golf attire and swimwear.

In addition, Gulbis hosted “The Natalie Gulbis Show” on the Gold Channel in 2005 and 2006, and made other television appearances on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “The Price Is Right,” “Sports Jobs With Junior Seau” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

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