ALTON, Ill. -- The Quincy Notre Dame boys golf team figured to be good this fall, but it already is turning heads.
The Raiders have played in five tournaments this fall, and they've won four. They posted a score of 297 to dominate the Alton Marquette Invitational on Saturday at the Woodlands. They were 14 strokes better than Belleville Althoff, with Breese Mater Dei coming in third at 315 and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin fourth at 319.
The Raiders shot a 301 to win a tournament at Monmouth and a 303 to win the D.A. Weibring Invitational in early August. They shot a 301 at the Peoria Notre Dame Invitational but lost by six strokes to the host school. Five scores were counted in QND's victory in the Quincy Invitational, but the top four scores combined for a 297.
"Any scores along that line, we're happy with that," Raiders coach Mark Longo said. "If we shoot 305 or better, we'd be happy with that."
Sophomore Alex McCulla was the medalist, shooting a 6-under par 66. It's the third time he's been the tournament medalist with a score below 70. His worst round this fall has been a 74.
"The only time I say much to him is if things are going bad. I tell him to calm down and relax. I haven't had to say much to him so far," Longo said with a laugh.
Luke Siebers tied for second with a 73. He was five over par after four holes and shot a 39 on the front, but he finished with a 34. Longo said Siebers has cut "about six or seven strokes" from last year's average.
"He's finishing," Longo said. "In the past, he was more worried about the score. He would think, "'I've got to get a par to shoot 78,' then he would shoot one out of bounds and get a bogey and finish 80 or 81.
"You try to tell them to stay in the moment. Now Luke just worries about hitting his drive, and then he thinks about the next shot when he gets to that. He's done that in the last two tournaments, and that's huge."
David Hutson shot a 37 on the back nine and shot a 79 for the Raiders. Jack Leffers also shot a 79.