Reigning Pine to Palm champion Beau Hanson shot four-under in his first competitive golf since a rib injury during the opening round of play Friday at the Minnesota State Open Championship being played at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater.
Hanson missed eight weeks recovering from an upper rib muscle injury and has been back in full swing only a fortnight but got off to a hot start in his return to grab the early lead.
Hanson birdied par five holes two and four, along with the par three seventh on the front nine against a lone bogey at the par four third hole. On the back nine, he birdied three of the first four holes and parred out with a lone bogey at the par five 17th for matching scores of 34 on each side totaling a four-under 68.
Alexandria native and Head Teaching Professional and Assistant Golf Professional at Minnewaska Golf Club Casey Vangsness it tied with Hanson. Vangsness was bogey-free with seven birdies before consecutive plus-ones on 16, 17 and 18.
Defending champion and University of Minnesota Gopher Benjamin Greve has the lead at six-under after birdying five of the firsts nine holes for a front side 31 and came in with 35 behind two back nine birdies and his lone bogey of the round on the par three 16th.
The University of South Dakota's Tommy Vining is alone in second place at -5.
Former Staples golfer and current North Dakota State University Bison Andrew Israelson is tied for ninth place with six other golfers at two under par.
Gopher Peter Jones, a quarterfinalist at last year's Pine to Palm is in a top 20 logjam a shot back on Israelson at one-under in 16th place with 11 other competitors.