EAST LANSING — Jessica Kim had already experienced the thrill of winning a regional title.
Getting to share that excitement with her younger sister Lauren last week made this year’s regional golf crown a little extra meaningful for the Okemos senior.
“It’s very special,” Kim said. “It’s not all the time we can both go to the state championship. It means a lot to me because I’m with her and we get to support each other.
“We’re very supportive of each other and we want each other to play better because it’s all for the team.”
This weekend’s Division 2 state golf finals at Bedford Valley in Battle Creek will present one final opportunity for the Kim sisters to support each other on the course as members of the Okemos girls golf team. And both will be factors as the Chiefs – who finished 15 strokes ahead of runner-up St. Joseph to win their regional last week — attempt to capture state title.
Jessica has been Okemos’ No. 1 golfer this fall and had a team-best score of 78 to finish third on the overall leaderboard at last week’s regional. Her 40.67 average in nine-hole rounds leads the team and Okemos coach Dan Stolz said she’s been really steady and solid this fall.
Lauren, a sophomore, ranks third on the team with a 43.81 average. She’s had 18-hole rounds this fall where she’s scored in the 70s and Stolz says that provides a glimpse of her potential.
“I think seeing my sister and the rest of my team playing so well has really influenced me to put in my best so I can play as good and not be the person that’s lagging behind,” Lauren said. “I think having a great team like this has really helped me be a better golfer.”
Each sister has their strengths with Jessica having the better long game and Lauren faring better in the short game. But Stolz also sees common traits that have helped the Kims excel and contribute to the Chiefs’ CAAC Blue and regional titles this season.
“They’re both pretty methodical and deliberate in their game and don’t short change the hole and aren’t surprised by anything that they didn’t happen to notice,” Stolz said. “They are pretty cerebral about how they’re playing.
“They’re just both wonderful kids, they give you their best every time and they want the team to be successful. They are all about team to be honest.”
Contact Brian Calloway at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.
STATE GOLF FINALS (Friday-Saturday)
DIVISION 1 – The Meadows (Grand Valley State)
DIVISION 2 – Bedford Valley (Battle Creek)
DIVISION 3 – Forest Akers West (MSU)
DIVISION 4 – Forest Akers East (MSU)
Mid-Michigan team qualifiers: Holt (Division 1), Okemos (Division 2), St. Johns (Division 2), Lakewood (Division 3), Lansing Catholic (Division 4)
Mid-Michigan individual qualifers: Erin Chapko, DeWitt (Division 2); Audrey Wassner, Mason (Division 2); Kelsi Allen, Perry (Division 4); Emily Wisuri, Webberville (Division 4)