COON RAPIDS, Minn. — Winona Senior High senior Matt Turner is right where he wants to be after one day of competition at the MSHSL Class AAA state boys golf championship: in contention.

Turner is three strokes off the pace and tied for ninth after he shot a 1-over 73 on Tuesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn. Brock Winter of Stillwater shares the lead with three others with a 2-under 70.

“I knew beforehand I wanted to put myself in a position that I would be in reach for day 2, and I obviously I was able to do that and put myself in a pretty good spot,” Turner said. “I just have to start thinking about the game plan tomorrow so I can catch them.”

Turner got off to a nice start with five pars through the first six holes before recording back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth. After a par on No. 9, Turner finished the front nine with a 2-under 34. Yet, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Turner. He shot a 3-over 39 on the back nine including finishing the round with back-to-back bogeys. The sweet-swinging lefty admitted, “Every hole, 1-18 was different than anything I had ever played before.”

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It challenged him. He didn’t hit as many fairways as he wanted and found himself in the rough a few times. But thankfully a solid approach and some clutch putting kept him in contention.

“Honestly throughout the entire round today, I scrambled a lot,” Turner said. “It was hard to find fairways. I was playing under the trees and made some pretty special punch shots and made some putts. It wasn’t the easiest one-over round today, but it was definitely a fight throughout.”

Turner will begin his push on the front nine at 7:57 a.m. on Wednesday. Despite battling a tough course, Turner felt like he responded well giving him more confidence heading into the final round.

“It just shows that I don’t think the stage is too big for me and that my game is in a good spot,” Turner said. “I think I will have the right mentality to go out there and hopefully do something good (on Wednesday).”

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