Natalie Gulbis, the striking 27-year-old blonde LPGA tour player, was at Oakmont Country Club today, preparing for the U.S. Women's Open at the famed course in July.
But, in between a session of hitting balls on the range, as she made her way to the first tee to play a practice round, she stopped to chat with two media members about golf -- a conversation that invariably veered to her former boyfriend, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
It was thought Gulbis might play a practice round at Oakmont Tuesday, but instead she accompanied Roethlisberger in a round of golf at Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier.
"He's a great guy," Gulbis said of Roethlisberger. "I have known him for years. He's always been fantastic to me and we've been friends since before he was even playing with the Steelers.
"We went out and played golf and I'll continue to cheer for him and the Steelers."
As for that showdown at Laurel Valley yesterday?
"He beat me," Gulbis said. "Beautiful golf course. He beat me by a couple [holes]; we played match play."
Asked by a television reporter if Roethlisberger was "getting a bad rap right now," a reference to the four-to six-game suspension the NFL has imposed on Roethlisberger, Gulbis' patience started to wear thin with the line of questioning.
"I don't want to answer a lot of questions about Ben," she said. "But if you want to ask me more about the tournament or about the golf. . . .Plus, you have plenty of other people to comment on that [Roethlisberger situation]."
Colin Dunlap: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1459.
Colin Dunlap: email@example.com or 412-263-1459