Valdosta’s Carter has five-shot lead at Women’s Amateur

Valdosta’s Dori Carter continued her strong play in the second round of the 80th annual Georgia Women’s Amateur Championship on Wednesday at Idle Hour Club.

Carter shot a 68, giving her a five-shot lead over defending champion Mariah Stackhouse going into today’s final round.

Carter, who sits at 7-under-par 137 after two rounds, had five birdies and only one bogey in the second round. She only has three bogeys in 36 holes in the tournament, and she is confident she can continue to play well for one more day.

“I think my college schedule has prepared me for tournaments like this,” said Carter, a first-team All-SEC player and honorable mention All-American at Mississippi. “ Playing at the national level in so many difficult places definitely given me an advantage.

“Plus, I am fortunate enough to basically be a full-time golfer right now. It gives me a lot of time to really work on my game. I am working hard and trying to get better. It is a great honor to be leading a great tournament like this.”

Carter’s only bogey Wednesday came on the par-3 eighth hole, her next-to-last hole of the day.

“I can’t really complain about one bogey in a day,” Carter said. “Idle Hour is a great golf course, and I don’t think it could be in better shape. It was a beautiful day, and I had great playing partners. We were able to have a really good time, and I am hoping for more of the same (today).”

At 22, Carter will be the oldest player in the final group. Stackhouse, 15, will be the youngest. She shot a 2-under 70 on Wednesday to put her in second place by herself. Vanderbilt signee Anna Leigh Keith had another roller-coaster ride of a round with five birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey to shoot 74. She is seven shots off the lead and tied with Georgia signee Emilie Burger, who shot a 69.

Stackhouse knows what it will take to make a run at Carter.

“I need to go out and shoot 65 (today),” Stackhouse said. “I know I have one in me. I could have taken at least three shots off my score (Wednesday) if I had putted a little better. It is great to be in the final group with such great players. I know that it will be very difficult to shoot a really low number, but I feel good about the course, and I feel good about my game right now.”

Five-time winner Laura Coble shot a 76, putting her 11 strokes off the lead. The top local player is Warner Robins rising senior Lacey Fears, who sits at 149, after a second-round 75.