By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Editor
Rachel Powers knows the day looms when she faces a fork in the road.
One path leads her to a professional golf career when her eligibility at Illinois State University runs out next spring.
The other allows her to keep her amateur status long enough to defend her Quincy Women's City Golf Championship once again.
So which will it be?
"That's a good question," Powers said.
The answer may have become a little more clear Sunday when Powers won her fourth consecutive title, posting a 4-over 146 after coasting home with a 5-over 76 in the second round. It gave her a 14-stroke advantage over Quincy Notre Dame senior Lucy Clark, who shot a 160.
Now, Powers sits just one championship shy of the record for consecutive titles, which is owned by her older sister, Emily, who won five straight championships from 2004-08.
"I still might play next year," Powers said. "I would like to. ... Keep the record going."
When she turns professional — the plans are already in the works for the QND graduate to turn pro sometime next year — determines everything.
"It might be the end of the summer or it might be the beginning," Powers said. "More than likely, it will be the end of the summer so I can play in this again."
That's not exactly the news the rest of the field wanted to hear.
Powers' fourth title was her easiest. She built a six-stroke lead after the first round by posting a 1-under 70, and she enjoyed a casual second round with her father, Tim, who served as her caddie.
In fact, Powers noted how the conversation was rarely about club selection or shot placement, but more about random things.
"Well, we talked Grandma and how she is terrible at driving a golf cart," Powers said. "How on No. 5 dad hit a house one time. So it was just joking around all the time."
Having her dad on the bag is another reason to come back one more time.
"It is a good time," Powers said. "All of the comments that he has make me laugh."
A little laughter is a good thing, and Powers' playing partners took that to heart.
After struggling on the front nine, Clark closed with a 39 on the back and found improvement with her putter.
"The front nine was just treacherous," Clark said. "It was almost comical."
She shook it off rather effortlessly.
"I said to myself, ‘It's a new nine,'" Clark said. "I just forgot about those first nine holes."
With two strong finishes this summer — Clark was fourth in the girls 16-17 division at the Pepsi Titan Little Peoples Golf Championships — her confidence is booming.
"Playing with Rachel is an honor," Clark said. "It does give me confidence to finish well, especially playing with the top dogs. That's a confidence booster. Definitely."
Jamie Ehrhart battled through back pain to finish third in the championship flight with a 164, while Dakota Limkemann shot a 166.
In the first flight, Quincy High School's Hannah Rosen took first with a 180, while in the second flight, Sherry Beckenholdt won with a 191 total.