OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) – Due to increased enrollment, the Okemos girls golf team made the switch from Division 2 to Division 1 this year. But not even that could slow down Dan Stolz’s crew from claiming another regional crown.
On Monday, at Davidson Country Club, Okemos edged out Brighton by three strokes to capture its third regional title in four years. As a team, Okemos made the shots it needed in the final holes, and shot a 325, while Brighton finished at 328.
“I had one girl that missed the green on a Par 3, it landed right near the sand trap, and then she flopped the wedge a foot of the hole, and made the par putt,” Stolz, Okemos girl’s golf coach, said. “It was pretty big. There was some real drama out there.”
“It’s so different winning with a team versus by yourself. So, it was great to share it with somebody,” Okemos freshman golfer, Alena Li said.
A typical Okemos practice runs from 3-4:30, but if you were to arrive at Forest Akers East after 4:30 you’d still see the team out on the driving range putting in extra work. Because of that work ethic, Okemos senior Allison Cui has been able to win back-to-back state titles.
“Sunday evening we came to hit before regionals. It was so dark out here I could barely see the ball on the tee and she was still banging balls onto the range,” Stolz said.
Okemos senior golfer Audrey Chen said, “She definitely leads by example and it’s really cool to see because my game has definitely improved by watching her.”
Cui shot a 71 in the regional and right behind her on the Okemos scorecard was Li, who shot a 78 to lead all freshmen in the region.
“Alena is the same way. She’s the last girl to leave every night,” Stolz said.
“Sometimes I don’t like to hit balls on the range, but I know it’s necessary to get better,” Li said.
Okemos will play in the MHSAA State Finals at Grand Valley State University, on Oct. 15-16.