Two of the state’s best golfers are on the same team

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - You’ve heard of Allison Cui, pronounced “Shway,” the golfer from Okemos with two state titles. And one year left to play. But the Okemos golf team has added another young talent.

It’s not very often that a school can feature the best golfer in the state. But to have the top senior and the top freshman in Michigan? Okemos has it good.

Okemos Girls’ Golf Coach, Dan Stolz, said, “To have a senior like Allison that can give leadership and all she’s accomplished, and then to have a 9th grader like Alena come in and be able to join a team. She’s been on her own on a little island, competing by herself, and now she’s teammates pulling for her and rooting for her, I think she’s enjoyed this experience as well.”

Cui, a two-time state champion and 2019 winner of the state’s Miss Golf award, has sprouted a friendly rivalry with freshman Alena Li. Coach Stolz says Li has even beaten Cui a few times.

“I’m sure they push each other but I’ve never heard any kind of words between them,” Stolz said.

“It’s great to have a team, which is something that I’ve never done before in golf,” Li said. “I’ve made a lot of friends in golf, and being on a team is a great experience from what I’ve normally done, but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Cui and Li agree it’s good for both of them and the team.

Li said, “It’s really nice to have someone that can motivate you and push you to become a better player.”

“Allison’s such a great player,” Cui said. “And it’s amazing to be able to practice and play with her every day.”

Stolz says they both have put in their time on and off the course, which has made it easy for him as a coach.

“They teach the other kids just through leadership by their actions, how to behave like a high level golfer,” Stolz said. “They’re very tournament savvy kids, I know they know how to work their way around the course, but you still want to support them, you don’t want them to think you don’t care about them or aren’t spending time with them.”

And, whether it would be a first or a third, both Cui and Li have the same goal for this season.

“A state championship is never easy to win, but it’s always something you want to be able to accomplish if you can. It’s really just keeping up with every part of my game and seeing how good I can get,” Cui said.

Okemos won the CAAC open this week by 15 strokes. Cui placed first and Li came in fourth.

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