-- Natalie Gulbis, 22, has her own calendar, a Web site, and starting next month, will appear in her own reality show. She has everything a top women's golfer could possibly want.
Everything except a victory, although that may soon change.
Gulbis closed with five straight birdies to shoot a 5-under 67 in Thursday's opening round of the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock Golf Course and grab a share of the lead with Laura Diaz and Laura Davies.
Annika Sorenstam, who played with Gulbis, trails by one, along with Paula Creamer, Tina Fischer and Sung Ah Yim. Michelle Wie, 15, the first amateur to ever compete in this event, is tied for eighth, only two back. Rain delayed play for nearly an hour, but everyone finished before darkness.
Down the stretch, Gulbis hit one close approach after another. "I actually struck the ball well all day," Gulbis said. "I had to chip out of the rough only one time. I had a lot of opportunities for birdies all day and started dropping putts at the end."
Sorenstam, bidding to keep her hopes alive for the Grand Slam, was also satisfied with her performance. She did not make a bogey and has shot 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s.
"I would like to continue with this the next three days and see what happens," Sorenstam said.
So would Gulbis, who has played the best golf of her career this season. In 11 starts, she's earned $305,875, ninth on the LPGA money list. When she joined the tour in 2002 after only one season in college, Gulbis figured big things would happen fast. They didn't. In her first 79 tournaments, she recorded only six top 10s.
"I have had good rounds and been in the hunt but haven't put together four good rounds," Gulbis said.
She has worked hard recently with her coach, Butch Harmon. They have focused on simplifying her unorthodox swing.
"He's really taken his time with it, which has been great," Gulbis said. "I never had a lesson before I went to Butch. My father was always my instructor. I didn't know anything about the swing."
Some wonder if perhaps she should simplify her life away from the course. She brushes such criticisms off.
"I don't do that much," Gulbis insists. "My agents, my father, they kind of do it all. I might do a photo-shoot here and there, but they push hard, do all the marketing and get it all set up."
The pushing will likely continue. In July, "Natalie," a six-episode reality show, is scheduled to make its debut on The Golf Channel. The show follows her on and off the course. Later this month, during the week of the U.S. Women's Open in Denver, she will throw out the first pitch at a Colorado Rockies game.
Davies and Diaz are both looking to halt long victory droughts. For Davies, 42, who hasn't won in four years, it would give her the required points to gain automatic entry into the LPGA Hall of Fame. Under the eligibility rules, Karrie Webb became an official member Thursday when she completed her round.
"Believe you me, nothing would please me more to get it over with and then just relax," said Davies, who tied for third in last week's ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Diaz, 30, has recovered from ankle problems that hindered her game the last two seasons. Her last triumph came in 2002.
"I think playing injured was really hard," said Diaz, who had surgery about 18 months ago. "I was able to battle through that the last couple of years and I hope that everything is on the rise."