LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — La Cañada High's girls' golf team had the home-course advantage when South Pasadena visited the Spartans for a nonleague match at the par-34 La Cañada Flintridge Country Club on Tuesday.
The fact the Spartans were more familiar with the "difficult" course may have been the difference in the match, as both teams admitted they weren't completely on their game. La Cañada pulled out the 224-242 victory in nine holes to improve to 2-0 this season.
"[The loss] is obviously a disappointment, but this course is very difficult," South Pasadena Coach Richard Goto said. "La Cañada, boys and girls, has always had [a home-course advantage] here."
La Cañada's Coach Rich Wheeler agreed with Goto.
"I openly admit it's an advantage," said Wheeler, adding it could be a two- to five-stroke swing for his squad depending on the day. "It's a tricky course and our kids feel at home here."
The Spartans' Jennifer Kim, a junior, was the medalist with a 37.
"I actually think I did poorly, I was kind of disappointed because I doubled a hole," Kim said. "I tried to keep my mental game pretty focused, level and calm. I think that helps.
"I am pretty happy with my score today, it could have been a lot worse."
South Pasadena's Katie Rosenberg, a freshman, had the second-lowest score of the day with a 40. Seniors Victoria Carlos and Melody Sue also chipped in a 45 and 46, respectively, for the Tigers (1-2).
"[Rosenberg] is awesome," said Goto, who didn't have one his starters, senior Samantha Ramos, available Tuesday. "She has put in a lot of time at junior tournaments this year. We are hoping for good things from her."
Goto felt pretty confident coming into Tuesday after his team lost to La Cañada by just two strokes, 217-219, at Almansor Golf Course on Aug. 31 and defeated Burbank, 231-249, in its first official match of the season Aug. 30.
"When you come here you're in a whole different world," said Goto in reference to the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club. "A lot of the shots are blind so if you've never played here before it's just really difficult."
Melissa Leo and May Lo rounded out a solid top three for the Spartans, carding a 42 and 44, respectively.
"We definitely have an advantage here," Leo said. "You can't see most of the pins or flags so knowing where to hit and where to aim is a big advantage."
Wheeler also praised the play of his seniors, Caitlin Perry and Shannon Lee, as they both dropped their scores by two or three strokes to 50 and 51, respectively. Keilee Bessho, a freshman with the Spartans, carded a 56.
The win increases La Cañada's winning streak, dating back to last year, to 15 in dual meets. The Spartans haven't lost a match heading into their first taste of Pacific League play.
"We will find out [how far we can take this] when Pacific League matches start because that's when the competitions gets all fierce," Kim said.
La Cañada played Pacific League foe San Marino on Wednesday in a nonleague match. The Spartans will face the Titans again at 2 p.m. Monday.
South Pasadena played Burbank on Thursday and will face La Salle at 3 p.m. Monday at Eaton Canyon Golf Course. The Tigers begin Montview League play against Westridge at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Almansor Golf Course.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun