CEDAR RAPIDS — Chemistry is a finicky subject.
A dash of this or changing a bit of that can create a major shift in the result.
Anyone who has hit a golf ball can tell you that it is just as fussy. Even with a heaping helping of heat and humidity, Cedar Rapids Kennedy girls’ golf coach Julie Buerman kept her cool to win the Cedar Rapids Women’s City Amateur.
“The biggest hurdle was probably staying focused in the heat,” said Buerman, who shot a two-day total of 153 (76-77). “It gets really hot on the back nine because there isn’t much breeze out there.”
All told, 14 golfers competed across three divisions. Kim Kieckhaefer (80-82) won the Senior Division and Jane Suiter (93-96) won the Super Senior Division.
Buerman, who doubles as a chemistry teacher at Kennedy, out-dueled some familiar competition en route to winning the Open Division. Former Kennedy golfer Katie Choate (82-79, fourth place), current Linn-Mar golfer Tori Niemeyer (79-75, second place), and Cedar Rapids resident Lynette Seaton (80-79, third place) competed as a foursome in the final round at Ellis Golf Course.
“It’s always a good friendly competition when we get out there,” said Choate. “I know the scores are always going to be close when we play.”
Choate competed for Buerman for four years while at Kennedy and made an appearance at the state tournament. Now a freshman at Wartburg, Choate has put many of the lessons learned from Buerman to use for the Knights.
“Just focus on every shot,” said Choate. “It’s going to be different every time. You’re never going to have two of the same shot, so you just have to learn from the last hole and move on.”
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Niemeyer, a senior-to-be at Linn-Mar, felt right at home at Ellis. She trailed Buerman by just three strokes heading into the final round. Saturday, Niemeyer fired a 2-over par to wrap up second place.
“Katie and I used to compete in high school,” said Niemeyer. “And I always see Julie following us with all the coaches. It was just fun to play with her and not have her coaching one of my opponents.”
While Niemeyer was 1-under par for the day after nine holes, a couple of bogeys on the back nine stopped her final-round surge. Buerman, however, was 3-over after the front nine, but finished par or better on six of the final nine holes to win the tournament by one stroke.
“It’s cliché, but it’s just one shot at a time,” said Buerman. “You can’t get mad if you get something wrong, you just have to work through it.
“It’s a long game and a lot of things can change in four or five hours.”