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Original Issue

The Beat

Though it will air on the Golf Channel, Natalie Gulbis's new reality program will feature bikinis as well as birdies. Natalie, a six-episode series that premieres on July 19, will take viewers on Gulbis's 2006 swimsuit calendar shoot as well as on the town with Gulbis and fellow LPGA golfer Cristie Kerr. The show will also feature Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger trying to get in good with Gulbis's dad, John(below), a Harley-riding retired probation officer. Roethlisberger, 23, had been denying since January that he and Gulbis (left) were a couple, but he came clean last month after golfing with Gulbis, 22, in a pro-am at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif. "It was good to see her and hang out," said Roethlisberger.

■ With her husband, Curt, on the mound against the Blue Jays on Monday, Shonda Schilling wasn't in her usual seat at Fenway Park. She did jog by, however, during the 109th running of the Boston Marathon. Shonda ran the marathon in 5:23.20 and raised more than $50,000 for Shade, the skin-cancer foundation she started after she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on her back four years ago. Shonda, 37, and a mother of four, was anxious about the prospect of her husband having a big day without her. "I've been sitting in those stands for 15 years," she told him. "Don't throw a no-hitter without me." Curt obliged: He went five innings to get the win in a 12-7 victory over the Jays before meeting his wife at the finish line.

■ Call them the Indie-ana Pacers. Both Reggie Miller and Dale Davis have started companies that will produce independent films this summer. Miller, who is retiring after the season, called his outfit Boom Baby Productions, after the phrase that Pacers radio commentator Bob Leonard uses when Miller drains a three-pointer. He's invested $1 million into his first film, a drama called Beautiful Ohio that will be directed by Chad Lowe and coproduced by Lowe's wife, Hilary Swank. "It's great for them to accept me and help me," Miller, 39, told The Indianapolis Star. "For her to come off another Oscar, there's so many other things she can be doing." Davis, 36, is calling his company WAR Entertainment, which stands for World Ain't Right. He's at work on Double or Nothing, about a stand-up comic who gets in over his head with a bookie.

■ Wimbledon champ Maria Sharapova can no longer use the excuse that's she's only 17 (SI, Feb. 17). The Russian tennis star celebrated her 18th birthday with a bash last week at Hiro, a Japanese restaurant in New York City. Invites were sent in canisters of pink tennis balls to a guest list of 250 that included Lindsay Lohan, Brooke Burns and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Maroon 5 provided the entertainment, and Sharapova danced to their cover of AC/DC's Highway to Hell.... Former ice queen Nancy Kerrigan gave birth to her second child last Thursday. The 1994 silver medalist and her husband--her agent and manager--Jerry Solomon, named the seven-pound, nine-ounce boy Brian.



Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has taken more than $250,000 in bets on the identity of the next pope.

They Said It


Actor, 80, on what his wife, Joanne Woodward, thinks of his hobby of race car driving: "She doesn't buy jewelry, she doesn't buy dresses. She buys insurance."









At the 2000 Republican National Convention, Laura Bush said that her husband "never loses sight of home plate." After throwing four presidential first pitches, he seems to know his way around the mound, too. Before the Nationals' home opener at RFK Stadium last Thursday (page 44) George W. Bush warmed up with Washington catcher Brian Schneider, then fired a ceremonial strike in front of 45,596 fans.