HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Eye problems and all, 13-time West Virginia Amateur champion Pat Carter is looking forward to playing in a PGA Tour event.
With plenty of fans expecting to back him, Carter will tee off at The Greenbrier Classic next Thursday in White Sulphur Springs.
"They'll be pulling for me," Carter said. "That gives me added incentive."
Carter earned an exemption by winning the state Amateur last year at The Greenbrier. But he suffered an orbital fracture in his left eye during an assault in April that caused muscle damage and blurred vision.
He tells the Associated Press that the golf ball can appear hazy at times.
"Sometimes it's fine. Sometimes you have to bear with me," Carter said. "There's no reason to whine about it. I have to learn to live with it."
Carter is known for his strong short game and solid putting. To play well at the Old White TPC course, he said he needs to improve his driving, which has been inconsistent.
"I'll try to get some practice in," Carter said. "I hope I can keep this feel going."
For PGA players, Old White plays at 7,287 yards — several hundred yards longer than what Carter is accustomed to at the Amateur.
Carter said he'll be "happy with pars" on three long par fours that could give him trouble — the 488-yard second hole, the 492-yard 13th, and the 444-yard 16th that golfers must carry their drives over water.
Carter also will return to the resort in early August to try to move within one win of Bill Campbell's record 15 state Amateur titles.