PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Natalie Gulbis is watching the final staging of the Wegmans LPGA Championship from afar with some yearning.
Out for the last seven weeks with a tear in the labrum in her left hip, Gulbis is missing the LPGA’s Rochester event for the first time in her career. She has played it every year since her rookie season in 2002. She loves the event, her host family here, and the way the community embraces the tour.
“And it’s a major,” Gulbis said. “I was excited to see Monroe Golf Club. It's come at such a tough time of the season, with so many big events and majors.”
Gulbis, who also missed the Ricoh Women's British Open with the injury, says her hip began hurting her at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she missed the cut. She underwent an MRI the following week and hasn’t played since. She says it wasn't any one shot that hurt her, but something that's built up from overuse.
“I’m trying to avoid surgery,” Gulbis said. “I’m going the route of physical therapy, and it’s working. I’m feeling better.”
Gulbis just began hitting iron shots this week but still hasn’t hit driver. She’s aiming to make her return at Suzann Pettersen’s Pro Challenge charity event in Norway on Sept. 6 and then she would like to play the Evian Championship in France the following week as her return to the tour.