After shooting par over the first nine holes Thursday at the Moose Run Creek Course, Adam Baxter’s game took a turn for the worse when he made the turn.
He bogeyed the par-4 10th hole to move above par for the first time all day.
The Anchorage man wasted no time turning things around from there, scoring birdies on the next two holes to seize the first-day lead at the Alaska State Amateur golf championships.
Baxter birdied four holes on the back nine to forge a 3-under-par 69. Second-place Rick Boyles is three strokes back with an even-par 72, and Erik Thompson and Greg Sanders are four strokes back at 73.
Benjie Sumulong, who won the State Senior golf title at Anchorage Golf Course earlier this month, is in fifth place at 75.
A field of 105 teed it up at Moose Run, where a strong wind picked up late in the morning to make things tricky.
Baxter is bidding for his third state championship after four straight years of close calls. The winner in 2013 and 2015, he has placed third the last three years and tied for second in 2016.
Among his competition this week is Sanders, who won the Alaska match play championship in June and is vying for his eighth State Amateur title. Sanders was one-under after the front nine but finished 2-over thanks to a bogey on No. 12 and a double-bogey on No. 17.
Back in 13th place with a 9-over 81 is defending champion Russell Marion.
Competition continues through Sunday at Moose Run.
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