HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -There's no denying Pat Carter is Hall of Fame material.
The 45-year-old golfer will be one of 120 individuals who will compete at the West Virginia Open scheduled for June 17-21 at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna. Regardless of the tournament's outcome, Carter's past accomplishments have been so highly-regarded that he will be inducted into the West Virginia Golf Association's Hall of Fame during a ceremony later this year.
"That's quite an honor," Carter said. "To be in there with six other people, what can you say? To be included with those names I am very honored."
Carter has dominated the amateur side of the sport in the state of West Virginia since winning medalist honors three years in a row at the high school state tournament (1983-85). He played for a Barboursville High School squad that claimed the team title those same three years.
In the college ranks, Carter was a member of the Marshall University men's golf team and later was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
"Baseball was my first love then it was basketball all the way through high school," Carter said. "Then I realized golf would pay my way through college, and lo and behold it did."
Following his career with the Thundering Herd, Carter's success continued at the West Virginia State Amateur, which he first won as a 21-year-old. More than two decades later, he has 13 State Am titles to his credit - including 10 straight from 1995-2006.
Two more championships in the State Am would equal the state record owned by William C. Campbell.
"It's never a personal goal to eclipse Mr. Campbell - that's not what I shoot for," Carter said. "I just take it year-to-year. I had a good streak for 10 years and I didn't think I would ever lose. And then there for a while, I didn't think I would win again. I'm just happy to still contend."
Carter, who first picked up a club at the age of 2 and gives his brother Earl credit through the early years, earned an exemption into this year's West Virginia Open by winning last year's State Amateur title. He has upwards of 30 total WVGA wins, including six West Virginia Mid-Amateur and 10 West Virginia Four-Ball Championships.
This year, Carter has had a series of close calls while attempting to add to his total. At the West Virginia Mid-Amateur, he qualified for match play and defeated four opponents before losing 3 and 2 to Sam O'Dell in the finals.
At the Four-Ball Championships, Carter and his partner Steve Fox tied for second after shooting two rounds of 67 for a 134 total. Only one stroke separated them from placing first.
With two children, Carter's parental duties have him attending an assortment of baseball, basketball, soccer and softball games as well as piano lessons. Even with those responsibilities, he feels he has the game to contend against golfers who play on a regular basis.
"My mindset is to win it - that's my ultimate goal and what I am setting out to do," Carter said.
As for playing at Parkersburg Country Club for the West Virginia Open, his familiarity goes back to the days when he and his playing partner Barry Evans competed in two-man scrambles on an annual basis.
"Anybody who manages the greens and keeps the ball in the fairways should have a good chance at the end of Friday," Carter said.