While the Masters conducted its first day in Augusta, Georgia, the fifth Pacific League boys’ golf match took place at the DeBell Golf Club on Thursday afternoon and for Burroughs High’s Kodiak Hernandez and Arcadia’s Josh Kwon, each had an impressive outing, as both shot a 4-under-par 67.
Hernandez fired a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine where he eagled the par-5 No. 1 and the par-5 No. 8 and then shot a 1-under-par 34 on the back nine.
“I tried to hit the ball straight and just play the best I can. DeBell’s a tough course if you don’t hit it straight,” Hernandez said of the course’s challenges.
What makes DeBell so difficult? “How short and narrow it is,” he said. “You just have to know where to position the ball to play well.”
How was Hernandez able to overcome the obstacles?
“My wedge shots and I was putting really well on the greens even though my tee shots weren’t on point,” he noted. “I felt pretty confident especially coming around the turn. I play DeBell very often and it helps a lot because you learn where to put the ball, the distances and the greens.”
The Apaches, who are the defending league champions, are in first place this season and were the overall team winner after shooting 367.
The Indians took second place at 388 and are in second with two matches remaining on the regular schedule.
Burbank came in third place at 402 as J.J. Nakao fired an even-par 71 that included a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine.
“Overall I’m happy with my day, but I could have done a lot better,” Nakao said of his outing. “Midway through the round I could have focused a little more. Went shot-by-shot instead of thinking of the overall score.”
Does he also find DeBell especially tough? “It’s a pretty interesting course,” he said. “You’ve got to hit it straight every single shot. A couple of shots I hit left to right. You just have to take it stroke-by-stroke. I would say my long game saved me today. My putting was an issue.”
Ryan McGowan came into the clubhouse with a 5-over-par 76 for the Indians.
Lincoln Melcher finished with a 77 and Daniel Gonzalez capped his day with an 82 for Burroughs.
Trey Sanchez was next for Burroughs after shooting an 86, while Niko Coccio carded a 94.
Kevin Kienlen posted a 77 for the Bulldogs, and Ari Ahmed ended his 18 holes with an 82.
Burbank’s Frank Masyk closed out his day with an 83, Devin Blazon came into the clubhouse with a 89 and Hayden Chase shot a 102.
Crescenta Valley garnered fourth place with a 424 and was led by Hank Norman’s 76. Placing fifth was Pasadena with 477 as Jerome Dimalaluan paced the Bulldogs after shooting an 84.