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Old 07-06-2005, 01:50 AM   #1
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Cool Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure
Wednesday, July 06, 2005

By Ron Musselman, Block News Alliance


Lori King, Block News Alliance photos
Ben Roethlisberger and LPGA player Natalie Gulbis sign autographs yesterday at the Dana Celebrity/LPGA Challenge at Highland Meadows in Sylvania, Ohio.



SYLVANIA, Ohio -- It wasn't exactly an all-out blitz, but the question left Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scrambling for an answer yesterday.

We all know he can play golf -- No. 7 plays to a 7-handicap -- but can his girlfriend, LPGA Tour glamour girl Natalie Gulbis, throw a football?

"Yeah, she's all right," Roethlisberger said, laughing. "But I don't think I have to worry about losing my day job there."

The Roethlisberger-Gulbis pairing makes sense, both on and off the golf course.

Roethlisberger, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound hotshot from Findlay, Ohio, has become a folk hero in Pittsburgh after a fairy-tale rookie season.

Gulbis, a 5-9 native Californian with blonde hair and blue-green eyes, is one of the most marketable players on the LPGA Tour.

Roethlisberger is 24; Gulbis 22.

Both young celebrities have their own Web sites.

Roethlisberger spent the first part of the year denying their involvement, but he finally came clean in mid-April after a picture surfaced showing him standing with his arm around Gulbis after they played together in the pro-am at the Kraft Nabisco Championship the previous month.

Yesterday, Ben and Natalie teamed up for the six-hole Dana Celebrity/LPGA Challenge at Highland Meadows Golf Club, site of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic this week. And they will be paired again today in the National City Celebrity pro-am.

Although Roethlisberger prefers not to talk much about his relationship with Gulbis, he's in his comfort zone this week.

Not only does he have Natalie by his side, but he also is surrounded by family and friends.

Yesterday, Roethlisberger also was accompanied by three hulking bodyguards who made him look small.

Life has changed quite a bit for Roethlisberger in the past year. Everybody knows who he is; everyone wants to rub elbows with him.



Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reacts to a missed shot by LPGA player Natalie Gulbis in the Dana Celebrity/LPGA Challenge at Highland Meadows in Sylvania, Ohio.


"Everywhere I go somebody is either saying my name or wanting an autograph or picture," he said. "It's just so crazy."

To get away from it all, Roethlisberger recently took his father, Ken, and two uncles on a five-day fly-fishing trip to Wyoming.

In a few weeks, he will be right back in the fish bowl when the Steelers report for training camp.

"We definitely set the bar pretty high," said Roethlisberger, who received a $9 million signing bonus last year in addition to his $230,000 salary. "I don't hear, 'Let's get to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl,' but rather, 'We've got to go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl.' "

Ben knows he has a lot of work to do for an encore performance.

A year ago, after replacing injured starter Tommy Maddox, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to 14 consecutive wins before losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. He set several records along the way and was the NFL offensive rookie of the year.

Besides their individual talents, Gulbis and Roethlisberger share the weight of significant expectations. He needs a Super Bowl ring; she is looking for her first LPGA win, even though she has earned nearly $1.5 million in her four-year pro career.

Gulbis gets another crack at that tomorrow at Highland Meadows, with her biggest fan pacing outside the ropes, golf's version of
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

Damn, is she a 10 or what!!!
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

They do look cute together...let's just hope that when his contract is up, she doesn't try to convince him to go some where that she can golf year round!!! lol...anyways, I think they are the perfect little sports couple....Good luck to both of them-even though I am a tad bit jealous of her lol!
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Old 07-06-2005, 12:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

I like the second picture of her. What, there was a story too?! Cute little pose and a naughty look.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

Damn she's so hot!
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

They seem like a very nice couple. They both understand being in the public eye so young. Good luck to them both.
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

I never really followed womens golf, but I think its about time I start !!!
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:56 PM   #8
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I hear ya BigBensGirl! I am a bit jealous also, but they are a very cute couple and she is definetely very pretty and he is gorgeous! But good for them! He looks pretty upset in the second picture! lol! Go Ben!

~AllAmer~
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roethlisberger, Gulbis deal with high profiles, pressure

Yes she is a hottie! Lucky Ben! $$$$$$$$$$$
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