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 on Friday.
After birdieing six of the first seven holes on the back nine, Carter bogeyed the final two holes for an eight-under 64. The round was her lowest in competition and broke the Aviara course record.
Winless on the LPGA Tour, Carter 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 an experience for me. It’s kind of like I can’t lose.
The American tied for 68th in the season-opening LPGA Tour event in the Bahamas and tied for 28th in the Women’s Australian Open. Last week, she failed to qualify for the LPGA event in Phoenix, flew to Florida for a Symetra Tour event and then made another cross-country trip to California.
“That’s my life,” Carter said.
She made a 35-foot putt on the par-three third hole for her first birdie, sank a couple of 20-footers and holed out from the fringe on the par-four 15th.
Lewis shot 66, and Kerr had a 68.
The third-ranked Lewis had seven birdies and a bogey. She tied for second last week in Phoenix, her fifth runner-up finish since winning the Women’s British Open last year.
“It was just a really solid day,” Lewis said. “Again, hit the ball really good like I did yesterday and just the greens were so much better this morning.”
Lewis was surprised by Carter’s low round.
“It’s very impressive,” she said. “You know, it’s a hard golf course. You can make a double pretty quick.”
Kerr, who won the Kingsmill Championship last year for her 16th LPGA title, holed out for eagle on the par-four first — her 10th hole of the round — and had three birdies and a bogey.
Australian Karrie Webb, coming off a victory Sunday in Phoenix in the JTBC Founders Cup, rebounded from an opening 75 with a 68 to move into a tie for 26th at one-under. The 39-year-old LPGA Hall of Famer also won the Women’s Australian Open last month.
Beatriz Recari, a playoff winner last year, missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 71 and 76. Taiwan’s Yani Tseng was tied for 22nd at two-under after her second straight 71, while Candie Kung carded a 78 and missed the cut. Tseng won the 2012 tournament for the last of her 15 LPGA Tour titles, before dropping from first to 46th in the world in a year. Sixteen-year-old Lydia Ko was on two-under after a 68.
Additional reporting by staff writer