1995: Four-Time Champ Focused on Family

Injury put Kuehne’s career on hold, but she feels fine about it

Kelli Kuehne
Kelli Kuehne is still listed on the LPGA Tour’s website, but she has not entered a tournament since 2009. Her priorities shifted after she met her future husband. (Photo courtesy of Kelli Kuehne)

By Dan Koller | Staff Writer

Kelli Kuehne began playing competitive golf at the age of 10, and all of that hard work paid off. By the time she turned 18, she was a four-time state champion.

In fact, Kuehne won every single tournament she entered as a Highland Park High School golfer. But life as a professional golfer has been a bit more challenging. After 13 years on the LPGA Tour, she has one victory.

But don’t cry for Kuehne. For one thing, she’s earned $2.2 million playing golf. And for another … well, she puts it best.

“My perspective has changed so much,” she said. “Golf is just golf. I never viewed it that way before. I saw it as life or death.”

Kuehne’s change in perspective came when an injury sidelined her. While warming up for her fifth tournament of 2009, she tore the ulnar collateral ligament in her wrist. She hasn’t played in an LPGA event since.

Kelli Kuehne
Our headlines kept Kelli Kuehne's high-school golf career well-documented.

“I’m not going to say I’m retired,” Kuehne said. “But I’m totally OK if my career is over.”

That’s because she has since gotten married to Paul Doremus. The two met by chance in Austin, where Kuehne had moved to be closer to her doctors and trainers. Doremus was in town on business, and a mutual friend gave the pair each other’s numbers. As Kuehne tells it, Doremus didn’t even know he was contacting a woman, much less his future wife.

“I get a text message from Paul, and he thought I was a guy,” Kuehne said. “And I sent him back a text message, and I’m like, ‘Hey, you know, I just moved to the neighborhood. We’re hanging out, having a barbecue.’ And he’s like, ‘You’re a girl.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah?’ It was just kind of totally crazy, no expectations, just one of my friend’s friends was in town and needed a place to hang out and wanted to grab some dinner. We’ve been hanging out ever since.”

The couple were married last September. They now live outside Park City, Utah, with Doremus’ 2-year-old daughter, Morgan. Kuehne recently took a job as the director of events for the Madison Green Agency, but she spends a lot of time doting on her stepdaughter. “My main focus used to be practice, travel schedules, and low scores,” she wrote on her blog this month. “Now my life revolves around our little Monkey’s nap and meal time, changing dirty diapers, and teaching her her ABC’s.”

Although Kuehne has not ruled out a return to the tour, she’s not willing to miss a weekend with Morgan to play golf.

“I always say that my husband came with an amazing bonus because he had a daughter, and I got the chance to just completely be Kelli the person and step away from Kelli the professional golfer,” Kuehne said. “My perspective has changed so dramatically, and I love it.”

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1995

ALSO IN THE NEWS …
On Jan. 30, the Texas Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the state’s school funding plan was constitutional. Highland Park ISD and a handful of other property-rich districts had sued to overturn the “Robin Hood” legislation.

On May 12, Dallas police officers and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents raided a Deep Ellum warehouse party attended by almost 200 teens, most of them Highland Park High School students. Authorities filed 18 charges against nine people.

On June 15, Park Cities People published a tribute to McCulloch Middle School, weeks before the building was demolished.

CHANGES AT THE TOP
On Jan. 27, University of Mississippi chancellor R. Gerald Turner accepted an offer to become SMU’s 10th president.

On Aug. 8, less than a week before the start of classes at the new McCulloch Intermediate School, principal Robert Dyer resigned without explanation.

HIGHLAND PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Valedictorian: Elise Adams
Salutatorian: Zack Phillips
Blanket Award winners: Jessica Bateman and Jonathan Harper
Homecoming Queen: Lauren Murray

IDLEWILD DEBUTANTES
Jennifer Barstow Claycombe, Amy McCarty Kimmerling, Sarah Staley Lowe, Jennifer Bartholomew Mason, Stacy Lia Michaelson, Margaret Louise Petty, Shannon Margaret Thompson

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