Phoenix, AZ – Natalie Gulbis withdrew from this week's RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup with Malaria, the LPGA Tour announced Wednesday morning.
Gulbis first fell ill two weeks ago in Singapore, where she withdrew before the second round of the HSBC Women's Champions. At the time, it was reported that she was suffering from flu-like symptoms.
After that event, there were reports that Gulbis had Malaria, but those were denied by the LPGA Tour. The tour did confirm Wednesday that Gulbis did in fact contract Malaria.
"Today, Natalie Gulbis withdrew from this week's RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup as she recovers from an illness that was confirmed to be Malaria. Natalie originally became ill in Singapore and she was treated and medically cleared to fly home," the LPGA Tour and her management group IMG said in a 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, the 2007 Evian Masters champion, is likely to miss next week's Kia Classic as well. She hopes to be at full health in time for the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which starts on April 4.
It was not immediately announced who will replace Gulbis in the field this week. She was scheduled to play alongside Sophie Gustafson and So Yeon Ryu for the first two rounds.