MONMOUTH, Ill. -- Alex McCulla knows there is a risk-reward scenario you must contend with when playing at Gibson Woods Golf Course.
If you're feeling risky, you can pull out your driver and challenge the tight fairways. The reward is easier approach shots and the opportunity to go low. On the flip side, you can avoid trouble with shorter shots and play for par.
The Quincy Notre Dame sophomore golfer didn't want to play for par Saturday.
"The last time I played there, I made a lot of birdies," McCulla said. "I was driving it pretty good, and I have been lately. So I figured I was just going to hit driver and play it aggressively."
That was the right call.
McCulla missed only one fairway with his driver and shot a 7-under 64, making 10 birdies during his round in the Monmouth-Roseville Invitational to earn individual medalist honors and lead the Raiders to the team title. QND shot a 301, four strokes ahead of Riverdale.
"I was hitting it over all the trees and cutting corners," McCulla said. "I got a lot of wedges into the greens, and I was hitting all my wedges to my spots. I was trying to get below the hole and have uphill putts and right-to-left putts."
McCulla needed just 24 putts, shooting a 29 on the front nine and a 35 on the back. A majority of his birdies were in the 6-to-10-foot range, but he rolled in a 30-footer on the 15th and 12-footer on the 16th.
"It was mainly the putter," he said. "I read the greens really well."
QND sophomore Jack Leffers also finished in the top 10, shooting a 76 to take seventh.