Cui, a junior, came from behind to win her second straight Michigan prep title. Those that know Cui and her game say this could be the start of her major golf career.
Okemos High School junior Allison Cui faced her biggest mental battle, during the Michigan state championship on Oct. 16, 2020, at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West course.
Cui’s nerves got to her in the beginning, and she was down three shots going into the back nine. She bounced back, making five birdies in the next six holes. She ended her day shooting a 2-under par 70 and took her second state title.
Winning a state championship is a feat that only a few have accomplished. Winning back-to-back state championships is even rarer, and Cui is one of the few to repeat as an individual state champion.
“It was just a surreal and crazy moment,” said Cui. “I was very nervous because I wanted to perform well like last year. I knew I had the potential to do well, as long as I stayed calm and went through my routine.”
Okemos Varsity Girls Golf Coach Dan Stolz knew Cui had a chance to win, even when she was down.
“A flip just switched in her mind and she birdied five out of the next six holes,” said Stolz. “She was in the lead then and she won it. it was pretty cool to see her dig down and beat that mental game.”
Cui was named 2019 Michigan Miss Golf Miss Golf, after she won her first state title. She admits she’d love to be named Miss Golf again and go for another state title.
“It was a really surreal accomplishment to be named Miss Golf,” said Cui. “Previously there was Elle Nichols, who I am friends with, and she is such an amazing person so to know that I had won an award that she had previously won, it was incredible. I think it really showed that my hard work paid off."
Nichols currently plays at Oakland University and was the previous star of the Okemos golf program before Cui. Nichols was a three-time state champion, named 2013 Michigan Miss Golf, and has enjoyed success so far in her collegiate career.
Cui is likely to follow along in Nichols’ footsteps and pursue a career in college golf.
“In terms of college, I am looking into it since college golf is such a good opportunity to make friends and improve your game,” she said. “It’s up for grabs on the future, but I am looking forward to my future in golf.”
Cui is on the radar of college coaches, already receiving interest to play collegiate golf.
“Allison already has offers from several Division 1 schools that would love to have her,” said Stolz. “Professionally, I would not sell her short with anything. With her work ethic and her mental game and ability to just compete, I would not put it past her to play professionally one day if that’s what she sets her heart to.”
Cui’s accomplishments this fall are even more impressive in light of the COVID-19 pandemic changing her training. She mainly stayed inside for a few months over the summer, and did not practice much other than just hitting balls in her basement and working on her strength.
“In the summer, I ended up not going to take lessons which had a little bit of an impact but I was just trying to stay safe,” said Cui. “Luckily, this season was very similar and the main difference was just wearing masks.”
Cui did what was necessary to be successful ,when the time came despite the challenges she was faced with due to the pandemic.
“I do not worry about Allison too much,” said Stolz. “She stays longer than anyone else, she hits more balls. She works on very meaningful things during her practice times and she just grinds and has purpose for her practice. She does not leave it to chance. She wants to be good and she puts in her time to do that.”
Stolz believes that Cui is the ultimate example as a person, an athlete and also as a student.
“Academically, she is a 4.0 student and had test scores in the eighth grade that can get you into any school,” said Stolz. “She is kind and incredibly humble. She does not post her accomplishments and people around her do not even realize what she is accomplishing. She is a terrific person and has been a leader on our team this year by example and her words.”
It takes a special person to be a successful athlete and Cui embodies everything it means to be dedicated to the sport of golf.
“Allison is the bar. She sets the bar and is what people hope to accomplish,” said Stolz.