"It grew as the day went,'' he said. "I had a ton of support out there that came from home. [They] got to see a few good shots. They got to see a few bad shots, too. There was a bunch of support on 17 and it was nice to make a birdie there.
"Just being out here with these guys. ... They're just incredible. I'm tired and these guys don't even look like they've broken a sweat. It's tough when you don't do it [every day]. I never wear pants. There's still pressure. I want to do well. I have numbers that I want to shoot toward and I didn't get there.''
Carter's playing partners were pros Scott Gardiner of Australia and Paul Haley II of Dallas. Gardiner carded a 2-over 72 while Haley clubbed a 4-over 74.
"They were great to play with,'' said Carter. "I told them that I was going to need a few balls signed for the kids. At the end they were telling me, 'Way to grind it out. Way to hang in there.'''
Old White was ripe for the picking as Tommy Gainey and Johnson Wagner each shot 8-under 62 for the first-round lead.
"The course was playable,'' Carter said. "The pins were accessible and the softness of the greens. ... The length wasn't an issue.
"I hit some hybrids in, but it wasn't like I couldn't make pars on any of them. The scores we're going to be so low with the way these guys play. I needed it to be firm and fast with a little tougher conditions with my knowledge of the golf course.''
After a bevy of low scores Thursday, the cut after today's second round could be well under par. Carter tees off from hole No. 10 at 2:10 p.m. today with the same grouping.
"I knew with the soft conditions, it was going to be miracle if I did make [the cut],'' said Carter. "If [the cut] would have been even 1 over I would have felt like I could have made it. If it's going to be 2 or 3 under, it's going to be very difficult.''
Carter is still recovering from an eye injury he sustained during an assault at a Willie Nelson concert in April in Huntington. He was scheduled to have surgery a couple of weeks ago for the fractured orbital socket around his left eye, but decided against it after receiving another opinion from a doctor in Cincinnati.
Carter said the doctor recommended waiting because there is a risk of making his vision even worse. He said that sometimes he sees two or three golf balls in the air, and has to sometimes blink and his vision returns to normal for a while.
"It's as good as it can be,'' said Carter, who withdrew from last month's West Virginia Open because of the injury. "Who knows what it's going to do.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.