Burbank High's Maemura shares medalist honors in league opener

LA CAÑADA — Leading up to the first Pacific League match of the season Tuesday, Irene Maemura had some time to spare.

The Burbank High girls’ golfer chose to make the short trek from Burbank to La Cañada to get in a nine-hole practice round at La Cañada Country Club on Friday in preparation for the league match.

It proved to be time well spent for the senior, as Maemura carded an even-par 34 to share medalist honors with San Marino’s Elizabeth Wang on Tuesday.

“It really helped me a lot in knowing the layout of the course, like there being a lot of doglegs,” said Maemura, a reigning All-Area selection who finished third in the league’s individual final last season. “It’s a bit of a shorter course, though De Bell [Golf Club in Burbank] is a little shorter.

“My putting helped me today and I had to rely some on my chipping. I’m going to try to win league and advance to state.”

Maemura, a three-time all-Area honoree who reached the CIF Southern Section Girls’ Golf Individual Final last season, wrapped up her round by recording a birdie on the par-three ninth hole.

San Marino finished first with a 197, followed by Arcadia (216), Crescenta Valley (220), Burroughs (237), La Cañada (249) and Burbank (280).

Crescenta Valley, which finished second in league last season behind Arcadia, received a 39 from Andrea Han. The Falcons also got a 42 from Audrey Chung, 43 from Gina Chung and 48s from Laura Perez and Emily Redecker.

Han, a junior, recovered from a tough start. A reigning All-Area pick, she started off with a double-bogey on the par-five sixth hole before regrouping to notch a birdie on the par-three seventh.

“I had a little trouble with my putting early on,” said Han, who took fifth in the league individual final and made her first appearance in the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual last season. “I thought I pretty much hit the ball solid.

“Right now, I’m just trying to get my overall game back to where it was.”

Burroughs received 43s from Katrina Villareal and Ashley Phelps. The Indians also got a 48 from Bella Nava, 49 from Maddie Riggs and a 54 from Annie Adachi.

Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said it might take some time for the Indians to jell.

“It’s a purely rebuilding season, but I like what I saw today,” Everhart said. “We don’t have any seniors or juniors, but I’m happy with coming in fourth.

“We finished 17 strokes behind the team that won league last year [Arcadia]. If we can get all of our players to shoot in the 40s, then I’ll be very happy. It will take some time, but we had four of our six do that today. We are starting to get there.”

Keilee Bessho paced the Spartans, who were playing on their home course, with a 39. Rachel Oh had a 47 for La Cañada, which received a 51 from Emma McGuinness, 54 from Andie Chung and a 58 from YooJin Kim.

Bessho, a senior, said she had a rough beginning to her round.

“I had a double-bogey on my first hole and then a triple-bogey on the second hole,” Bessho said. “Then I followed that up with two birdies.

“I was just a little sloppy with my putting. It’s something that I can fix and I just have to work more at putting and getting down the speed part of it.”

Burbank got a 49 from Amy Tran, 59 from Alexis Poche and 61 from Caitlyn Brooks.

The next league match will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday at De Bell.

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