Carter Leads in Houston


After winning the 2000 Tucson Open, Jim Carter was afforded a mediocre season. And thats just what he had in 01. Carter missed only five cuts, but earned only one top-25 finish. He ended the year 138th on the money list.
Now, with his two-year tour exemption running out at the end of this season, Carter has to right the ship. Hes off to a good start in this weeks Shell Houston Open.
Carter shot 7-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead over Esteban Toledo.
Vijay Singh leads a group at 5-under. Singh, Brian Bateman, Jay Haas, J. P. Hayes, Chris Riley and Scott Verplank all shot 67s.
John Daly was 5-under through 16 holes, but finished bogey-double bogey to shoot 70.
Carter collected his first PGA Tour victory by shooting 66 in the final round at Tucson. However, he hasnt since finished inside the top 10.
Thursdays 65 was, by two shots, his lowest round of the season. He started on the back nine and made the turn in 5-under 31. The 40-year-old Arizonian picked up two more birdies on the front for a bogey-free day.
'I wish I could keep it going. Everything felt nice out there today,' Carter said after his round.
'I've had good first rounds before and this was nice. It was just a good, solid round. I didn't seem to do anything stupid. I didn't seem to do anything real spectacular. It's always nice to get a good solid round under your belt.'
Like Carter, Singh is seeking his first title in two years. And, like Carter, he torched the back nine at The Woodlands. Starting at the 10th, Singh made six birdies and one bogey to turn in 31. He then parred all nine holes on the front to finish at minus-5.
'I thought I was going to keep going but I don't know what happened,' Singh said. 'I hit pretty good even on my front nine, my back nine for the first five holes and then kind of scraped around the last three.'
Singh has a solid track record at this event. Hes finished inside the top 10 in four of six prior starts.
Toledo, in his sixth season on tour, is trying to join the ever-growing list of first-time winners this season. Seven new champions have been crowned in 13 tournaments. The latest addition to the winners' club, Players champion Craig Perks, shot 2-over 74.
Full-field scores from the Shell Houston Open