Kenneth Li: MVP of boys’ golf


James Brosher Photography

Li is congratulated by his teammates after being awarded number one high school golfer in the state.

It’s a windy Saturday afternoon on the Bloomington golf course. The crowd is silent as Kenneth Li, junior, approaches his final putt. One more swing of his golf club, and he would become the number one high school golfer in the state. For eight long years he has trained for a moment like this. With one gentle swing, the ball lands in the hole with a satisfying thump. The crowd roars with applause.

There is no doubt that Central has athletic talent. What sets Li apart from most athletes is his dedication to his academics and humbleness in his achievements. He recently became a state champion and his teammates and classmates have only good things to say about him.

“I’ve known Kenneth Li for about six years,” said Max Bartuch, junior and fellow varsity golfer. “We played in the same tournaments since we were ten years old. He always had a really relaxed personality and a usually humorous attitude. I think what makes Kenneth such a good golfer is that he is a true competitor. His work ethic is excellent.”

“I remember when Kenneth and I went to Westview together,” said Cooper Lienhart, junior. “He was always really funny and liked to talk. I like how dedicated he is when he plays golf or when he is at school. I definitely think he deserved to win state.”

The state champion himself shared a few words as well about his origins and thoughts on the golf team.

“I started playing golf when I was eight years old because I saw how fun it looked on TV,” Li said. “ In the summer, I would practice for eight long hours every day. Nowadays I only practice for about an hour since school takes up a lot of time. The best thing about practicing with the school team is that everyone has each other’s back, no matter how badly you play. All the coaches do a good job of keeping everyone focused and organized.”

Besides being an incredible golfer, Li is also an excellent student. This rare combination of both athleticism and academia sets him apart from other athletes.

“I always make sure to practice golf more in the summer,” Li said. “That way I can squeeze in shorter practices during the school year and maximize my time for any schoolwork. Like golf, I just think about what’s going on in the moment and not think ahead too much. I really enjoy the constant struggle to improve in both golf and school.”

If the boys’ golf team is able to pull off another incredible season next year, it could prove to be enough for a fourth consecutive state championship. Everyone has high hopes for the state champion as Li prepares for the end of the season.