ARCADIA — Kiara Hernandez embraced the challenge of competing at Santa Anita Golf Course.
A freshman on the Burroughs High girls’ golf team, Hernandez has often played the course while taking part in junior golf tournaments.
Familiarity with the course came into play and led to Hernandez to a big performance.
Hernandez carded a one-over-par 38 to finish first in the second Pacific League match of the season Wednesday afternoon.
“I’ve played here so many times and you learn a lot about the way the course plays,” said Hernandez, who helped the Indians finish second with a 239 behind host and defending league champion Arcadia (208). “In the tournaments, it’s just you, but it’s different when you are part of a team.
“My putting was real good and I had a lot of good approach shots. I just like playing good competition.”
Hernandez edged Arcadia’s Tiffany Lo by two strokes for her first first-place finish. Kate Villegas of Arcadia had a 41 for third.
Burroughs, which finished second in league last season, received a 43 from Abbie Riggs, 48 from Gabija Petrulis, 50 from Jocelyn Kim and 55 from Abby Powell.
Burbank was third with a 239 and Crescenta Valley took fourth at 288. Glendale had four players participate, but didn’t have enough golfers for an official team score.
The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Madison Lee, who fired a 44.
“Everything was OK for me, except for my putting,” Lee said. “My driver was pretty good and I hit a lot of shots straight.
“I was a little nervous at times and I struggled with my irons a little bit.”
Burbank got a 50 from Kara Lee, 54 from Regina Ramos, 57 from Cassie Morin and a 62 from Elen Badalyan.
Crescenta Valley got a 50 from Lynna Chung, 51s from Vienna Bebla and Cathlyn Junio, 66 from Katie Bernabe and a 70 from Karen Lee.
“Right now, we have a lot of inexperience and it’s resulting in some real high scores,” Crescenta Valley coach Grant Clark said. “We have to find a way to get ours scores down and we have some time.
“It’s definitely a grind for us right now. They are a little frustrated.”
Nicole Ser Nanukyan led Glendale with a 67 and Gabby Aghajanian had a 71. The Nitros also got a 74 from Arpi Stepanyan and an 81 from Nikki Harrigan.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement throughout the first two league matches,” Glendale coach Anthony Mohr said. “We’re getting the ball up in the air more and we just want to keep making improvements from one league match to the next.”