QUINCY -- Lindsay May is about to see how perfect a championship in the final tournament of the summer serves as a springboard into the high school golf season.
The Quincy Notre Dame senior won the Galesburg Junior All-City championship last week, shooting in the 80s in two of the three rounds and posting an 11-stroke victory. Using that confidence to spark her bid for a state tournament berth is the next challenge.
May is the Raiders' No. 1 player and bona fide leader. She missed qualifying for the Class A state tournament by one stroke last October, and she has worked tirelessly throughout the year to put herself in such a position again.
"She has improved her game immensely," QND coach Jason Knuffman said, "She got better as the season went on and continued to play throughout the spring and the summer. She's playing with a lot of confidence."
That's where experience helps.
The Raiders have nine players in the program -- "For us, that's a big team," Knuffman said -- although a majority of them are novices.
"There's a lot of good athleticism out there, but it's a matter of getting competitive rounds in and seeing who is willing to step up and work hard on their game," Knuffman said.
That's where May leads the charge.
She shaved nine strokes off her score between the regional and sectional last season, which nearly landed her in the state tournament. Knuffman expects her to shave even more strokes because of her commitment to the game.
"Lindsay is a quiet leader," Knuffman said. "She has a natural competitive edge to begin with, but her grasp of the game and the rules allows her to help teach the younger girls very well. She's a very bright individual."
The Raiders need someone to spearhead the effort.
"The biggest challenge will be patience and getting competitive rounds in," Knuffman said. "There's a lot of raw talent out there. Just making sure everyone keeps having fun with it and not take ourselves too seriously is key.
"We have a lot of learning of the game to do."
The best way to learn is to play. The Raiders start the season against Quincy High School, Rock Island and Macomb in a quadrangular Aug. 17 at Westview Golf Course.
"They're sick of listening to me talk to them," Knuffman said. "They're ready to get out there and play some golf."
Date Event Time
Aug. 17 vs. QHS, Macomb, Rock Island 4 p.m.
Aug, 21 vs. QHS, Pittsfield, West Hancock 4 p.m.
Aug. 24 at Brookhill Shootout 1 p.m.
Aug. 25 at Rochester Rocket Invitational TBA
Aug. 30 at Normal U-High Tournament 1 p.m.
Sept. 4 at Kirksville (Mo.) Tournament 9 a.m.
Sept. 5 at Macomb, Canton (Ill.) 4 p.m.
Sept. 6 at West Hancock, Payson Seymour 4 p.m.
Sept. 11 vs. QHS, Kirksville 4 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Macomb, Rockridge, Mercer County 4 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Rushville-Industry, Pittsfield 4 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Macomb Invitational 8 a.m.
Sept. 17 at West Hancock, QHS 4 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Rochester, Auburn, Petersburg PORTA 4 p.m.
Sept. 24 West Central Conference Tournament at Macomb 10 a.m.