CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pat Carter has plenty of amateur golf hardware, but the West Virginia Open has eluded the decorated insurance executive from Huntington.
It will again in 2013.
Carter injured his eye in April, requiring surgery and forcing him to withdraw from the 80th Open Wednesday through Friday at the Parkersburg Country Club
Although the 45-year-old father of two played in the Sunnehanna Amateur in Johnstown, Pa., this weekend, his injury won't allow him to play this week.
"I really don't have a choice," said Carter, who added that two ophthalmologists said the operation "needs to be done immediately."
Carter's injury is a fracture of the orbital bone in his left eye, and is "getting worse," he said. "I love the golf course (Parkersburg Country Club), but I do need to get this corrected and that's first and foremost."
Carter has competed in 32 United States Golf Association championships during his career, and has won 13 State Amateur titles. Last year's Amateur crown earned Carter an exemption into the fourth annual Greenbrier Classic, July 4-7 at the Old White TPC.
He'll lose precious preparation time for the Amateur. Carter said he's not driving the ball very well, but said it could have something to do with his injury.
"I have to make a correction," he said. "I haven't driven the ball well this year. I'm hoping when my eyesight is corrected, everything will look the same. It doesn't look the same over the ball. It deteriorates your confidence. I always have been a good driver of the ball, but, for some reason, I'm hitting it right and left."
* * *
THE PARKERSBURG Country Club course is hosting the Open for the first time since 1983, beginning with Sunday's Coca-Cola Shootout.
Among the events this week is Tuesday's Past Champions dinner at 7 p.m. in the Parkersburg Country Club ballroom.