Emotions run high for Kuhlman; Conrad seals deal
First, Roxanne Kuhlman had to get back on her feet.
Once she found a certain degree of comfort in life’s new normal, Kuhlman turned back to the game she loves for peace and perspective.
Kuhlman captured her eighth career championship on Sunday in the Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota Webster County golf tournament, finishing a single shot ahead of Dee Cummins for a women’s senior division title that was both emotional and reassuring.
In the open division, Southeast Valley junior-to-be Delaney Conrad used her career round from Saturday and made it last to secure her first crown and dethrone seven-time defending champ Kelsey Faiferlick.
A little more than a year ago, Kuhlman’s family suffered the shattering loss of their daughter, Kristin. The 24-year-old Fort Dodge Senior High graduate died from complications of hepatopulmonary syndrome on June 1, 2017.
Roxanne said she couldn’t do much of anything for the rest of the summer, admitting that a task as simple as walking the dog seemed like an accomplishment. For the time being at least, golf was completely off the table.
This past spring, her cousin, Larry, bought her three new clubs. Kuhlman started to think about returning to the course in March — a therapeutic way, of sorts, to slow things down in what amounted to a relatively familiar environment.
”I joined Lakeside, my son (Joe) got me a really nice three-wheel cart, and I started playing again,” said Kuhlman, who now has three senior golds to go along with her five open-division victories. ”It’s just so beautiful out here. Very calming. It gives me a chance to think and relax, and appreciate what I have.
”Kristin was always proud of me when I’d done well in this tournament, just like I know my husband (Randy) and Joe are. So I think (if she were here), she’d give me a big hug and tell me, ‘congrats, mom.’ I just thank God for the opportunity to play golf with great people on beautiful courses.”
Kuhlman carded rounds of 82 and 81, compared to Cummins’ 81 and 83. Peg Christensen, the ’17 winner, was third at 86-86–172.
Conrad started the day at one-under par after her spectacular performance at Lakeside. Though her short game wasn’t as sharp on Sunday at the Fort Dodge Country Club and she hit two balls out of bounds, Conrad was able to hold off Sam Kuhn and Faiferlick to clinch the title.
Conrad’s 71-84–155 was three strokes better than Kuhn (77-81–158) and five clear of Faiferlick (77-83–160).
”I definitely didn’t do as well as (the first round); I didn’t hit as many fairways, and my putting was off,” said Conrad, who was playing the FDCC for just the second time ever. ”It feels great to win. I was very thankful for the opportunity (to enter).”
The tourney was offered to all Webster County residents and employees this year, rather than those who lived or worked within city limits. Conrad resides in Gowrie with her father, Mike, and mother, Jenny.
Conrad, who placed seventh individually at state in Class 2A for the Jaguars this past spring, added that ”this obviously helps a lot with my confidence.”
”It shows me how much I can accomplish,” Conrad said. ”I think (this championship) just sets my own expectations even higher moving forward. It was good to get this experience, and I had a lot of fun.”
WEBSTER COUNTY GOLF TOURNAMENT
Women’s Open Division
1. Delaney Conrad 71-84–155; 2. Sam Kuhn 77-81–158; 3. Kelsey Faiferlick 77-83–160; 4. Jaime Plane 84-80–164; 5. Deann Faiferlick 91-88–179; 6. Jolene Hays 92-100–192; 7. Lisa Coleman 106-97–203; 8. Julie Thorson 102-103–205.
Women’s Senior Division
1. Roxanne Kuhlman 82-81–163; 2. Dee Cummins 81-83–164; 3. Peg Christensen 86-86–172; 4. Marilyn Charon 87-90–177; 5. Roxie Morris 88-92–180.
Closest to the Pin Winners (sponsored by Faiferlick Martial Arts) — Dee Cummins, Kelly Pelz, Roxie Morris, Julie Thorson.