PACOIMA — On the edge of the San Fernando Valley, a group of area boys’ golfers heated up in 80-degree temperatures Thursday.
It led to them shooting at or below par and raising their confidence heading into the homestretch of Pacific League competition.
Backed by another impressive effort from freshman Lincoln Melcher, who carded a five-under-par 67 to place first, Burroughs finished first to pull into a tie for the league lead with Arcadia after posting a 362 at Hansen Dam Golf Course.
Seven of the 28 participants shot even-par or better, including JJ Nakao of Burbank (70), Burroughs’ Kodiak Hernandez (71) and Crescenta Valley’s Hank Norman (72).
Melcher grabbed the spotlight Thursday after turning in his third first-place league performance.
“I had a lot of things working for me and it’s pretty much a straight-forward course,” Melcher said. “It’s not too tough to navigate.
“I was able to hit the greens and I made a few 10-foot putts to get me going. I think our whole team is playing well and we have a chance to win league, so it’s exciting. Why not go for it?”
Burroughs edged Arcadia by two strokes, giving the Indians and Apaches three wins apiece through the first six league contests. The league finals will take place at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hansen Dam with the winner grabbing the league crown. Arcadia has won 10 straight league championships.
Burroughs received a 74 from Ryan McGowan and 75s from Niko Coccio and Trey Sanchez.
Arcadia got a 69 from Josh Kwon, 70 from Justin Chen, 71 from Warren Oetojo, 76 from David Ju and 78 from Andy Zang.
Crescenta Valley took third with a 385, followed by Burbank at 410. Pasadena took fifth, but didn’t post a team score because it didn’t field a full lineup.
Norman paved the way for Crescenta Valley, which is tied for third with Burbank.
“My first six or seven holes were pretty easy,” said Norman, a freshman. “I think that was the case for many of the other players and you could see that everybody seemed to have good vibes after getting off to solid starts.
“I thought my ball-striking was excellent, but not so good with my putting today.”
Nate Frink carded a 75 for Crescenta Valley, which received a 76 from Jaden Chung and 81s from Andrew Hong and Daniel DeGuzman.
Nakao, a reigning All-Area honoree, had another quality performance for the Bulldogs.
“It’s an easier course and I came on strong on the back nine,” said Nakao, a sophomore “I just need to keep playing hard and continue it going into next week.”
Kevin Kienlen shot a 76 for the Bulldogs, who got an 86 from Ari Ahmed and 89s from Frank Maslyk and Billy Malipun.
Jerome Dimalaluan had a 73 for Pasadena.
The league’s individual finals will occur at 12:50 p.m. Wednesday at Hansen Dam.