CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Dori Carter might have gotten a bit ahead of herself late in the second round of the Kia Classic. She still left everyone else behind Friday.
After birdieing six of the first seven holes on the back nine, Carter bogeyed the final two holes for an 8-under 64. The round was her lowest in competition and broke the Aviara course record.
Winless on the LPGA Tour, the former University of Mississippi player had 11 birdies and three bogeys. At 10-under 134, she had a two-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis and Cristie Kerr.
"No matter what happens this weekend, I can't believe I'm here," Carter said. "This is my first time. I mean, this is an experience for me. It's kind of like I can't lose. ... I have no reason to be uptight or anything because this is my first time. I'm OK with that. I'm OK with feeling like no matter what happens."
She didn't fret about the closing bogeys.
"I'm not even going to sweat that the rest of the day," Carter said. "I'm just so happy right now just to be here in this spot. ... My putting's always been my issue. Today, obviously, putting was fine. So, that's a big confidence boost for me."
She tied for 68th in the season-opening event in the Bahamas and tied for 28th in the Women's Australian Open, then played three Symetra Tour events. Last week, she failed to Monday qualify for the Phoenix event, flew to Florida for the Symetra Tour event, then made another cross-country trip to California.
"That's my life," Carter said."
From Valdosta, Ga., Carter made a 35-foot putt on the par-3 third hole for her first birdie, holed a couple of 20-footers, hit close on some holes and holed out from the fringe on the par-4 15th.
"Kind of a fluke," Carter said about her birdie on 15. "The pin was sitting on this little knob on the front left of the green and I hit it in the rough and I had to kind of roll it up to the front. I got my putter, my caddie and I just said, 'Why don't you just putt it.' I was probably like 10 yards short of the green and rolled it all the way in. It bent in the hole. ... That was like, 'I can't believe this.'"