Day two of the LPGA Volunteers of America® Texas Shootout saw a leaderboard shift that had a whole lot of us asking the same question.
“Who the heck is Dori Carter?”
This 30-year-old from Valdosta, Georgia, and University of Mississippi alum, began her rookie year on the LPGA Tour in 2011, just one year after turning pro.
In the Shootout, Carter went from carding a +5 (76) round one to a jaw-dropping, -8 (63) round two of the tournament, a performance that included seven birdies and an eagle. Ironically, her career best finish was at this tournament in 2014, where she tied for sixth place.
With today’s performance, not only did she make the first cut, but propelled herself from a tie for 116th to a -3 tie for 16th.
So, what does Carter think accounts for the 13-stroke difference?
“You know, that’s just golf. I struck the ball well yesterday and I didn’t get up and down. Today, I did. And then, I had some really cool long fringe putts that started to fall,” she said. “So, that was probably the difference between yesterday and today. I got up and down. I even holed out for an eagle today. I was always close and today was finally my day.”
For the record, this was not the first 63 for Carter. Her first was at Q-School, underscoring the fact that this player knows how to choose her moments wisely.
With Haru Nomura of Japan in the lead at -9, and a formidable list of contenders ahead of her on the leaderboard, Carter’s strategy going into the weekend isn’t all about technical execution.
“Have fun. This is a fun tournament for me. I had a really good finish a couple of years ago; got a lot of friends and my parents are in town, “ Carter said. “So, it’s just that this game has been so frustrating lately. I’m tired of it being frustrating. So, I’m just going to try to find a way to finally enjoy it, enjoy playing on Tour, enjoy this crazy life we live and not have to get so bogged down with the bad rounds…When things go your way, you’ve got to just find a way to relax and soak it all in.”
Soak may be the optimal word, with predicted Saturday afternoon rainstorms prompting a 7:10am start time, with groups of three teeing off on both the #1 and #10 tees of the Las Colinas Country Club.
Looking forward to seeing how the narrative unfolds tomorrow, rain or shine. Maybe this is the year we’re finding Dori at the top of the leaderboard.