Valdosta Daily Times

August 4, 2013

Valdosta golfer seeks own narrative

Dori Carter stands between Inbee Park and history

Derrick Davis
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Inbee Park’s pursuit of history, is the overwhelming narrative of the LPGA’s British Open as Park seeks to become the first golfer, male or female, to win four majors in a calendar year. However, between Park and tournament leader, Na Yeon Choi, sits Valdosta native, Dori Carter.

Carter, 26, is a Valdosta High School graduate that, despite only playing in 14 events as a professional, is tied for 13 after two rounds at the British Open.

 Two strokes ahead of Park.

Carter began playing golf at the age of eight in her hometown of Valdosta, she credits her father Lin Carter, and mother Melissa Carter for influencing her career the most.

The Valdosta Country Club is where Carter was able to hone her skills while working along side club pro Cary Brown.

While attending Valdosta High, Carter played for the Wildcats golf team; the Wildcats captured the region championship each of the four years Carter played for the team.

After graduating, Carter attended college at the University of Mississippi where she was a two-time All-SEC First Team selection in 2008-2009.

Carter was also recognized as a NCAA 2008 All-American as well as the 2009 Golfweek All-American during her career with the Rebels.

Carter continued her dominant run in 2009 by winning both the individual and team championship at the USGA State Team Championship.

That would mark Carter’s final year as an amateur player, she earned her pro card in 2010.

Since turning pro, Carter has struggled a bit.

In 14 career events, Carter’s best finish was when she tied for 32 at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Finishing strong at the British Open (she was six shots off the lead when play was suspended Saturday) is critical in Carter’s quest to keep her pro card this year.

“They take the 100 Top money winners for cards,” Walt Carter, Dori’s grandfather said. “She made enough last year to keep her card this year, if she doesn’t make enough this year, she has to go back to what is called ‘Q’ school.”

‘Q’ school stands for a qualifying school in Orlando where players compete for five straight days, two rounds a day. The top 20 out of 200 or so players get their card.

If Carter can hold her place, or advance in the rankings, she would hold onto her pro card.

At this point, qualifying through a play-in shouldn’t worry Carter in the least.

Carter was not given an invite to compete at the British Open. In able to play in the British Open, Carter was forced to travel to Scotland early last week to play in a qualifying tournament.

Ten out of the tournaments 120 players would qualify for the British Open, Carter finished tied for sixth.

The British Open will wrap up Sunday with a 36 hole marathon to make up for a wind suspended third round on Saturday.

Carter will be out there looking to keep Park out of the record books and write a narrative of her own.