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Kelli Kuehne

kelli kuehne pictures This is Kelli Kuehne or, as I've always called her, Kelli Cutie.

Does anyone else remember when Kelli and Tiger Woods, still amateurs, were rumored to be romantic with one another? I'm pretty sure there was nothing to those rumors (both denied it at the time).

But a lot of people have forgotten that Kelli was the distaff Tiger in her amateur days. She won back-to-back U.S. Women's Amateurs, plus a British Women's Amateur. She signed a big contract with Nike at the same time Tiger did (both before they'd accomplished anything as pros) and turned pro late in the year, trying to win enough money to qualify.

Tiger did, Kelli didn't. But she did make it through Q-School successfully. And she's had a solid career. She hasn't done much winning, but she's made a couple Solheim Cup teams.

And then she fell on hard times. In 2003 she was No. 51 on the money list. In 2004, she was No. 60. In 2005, she fell to all the way to No. 135 and lost her exempt status.

During that time period, she struggled with diabetes and went through a divorce. And she hadn't done much in 2006 until this week's Corona Morelia Championship, where she tied for fifth.

With that $35,000 paycheck, Kelli moved all way up to No. 95 on the money list. Five more spots and she gets back her exempt status for 2007.

I'm cheering for Kelli Cutie.

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