Malaria forces Gulbis from Founders Cup field

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Natalie Gulbis has withdrawn from this week's RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup as she recovers from malaria.

The LPGA Tour and Gulbis' management firm, IMG, released a joint statement that the golfer originally became ill while playing an event recently in Singapore.

"Natalie continues to be treated at home and is expected to be at full strength in three weeks,'' the LPGA and IMG said. "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 became ill two weeks ago at the HSBC Women's Champions, where it was first believed she had the flu. She withdrew after the first round and was approved to fly home.

The LPGA said a healthcare provider would be on site this week in Phoenix in order to draw blood and provide assistance to any players, caddies or family members who were in Singapore and wish to be screened.

Gulbis hopes to return in time for the LPGA's first major championship, the Kraft Nabisco. The Founders Cup is the first domestic event on the LPGA's 2013 schedule.

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