By Roxanne Truesdell
As far back as she could remember, Carrie Roberts was involved in golf.
Competing since she was 5 years old, Roberts made it on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour in 2003. But just making the tour isn”t enough.
“I didn”t” meet my expectations,” Roberts said, whose best finish in 2003 was a tie for 50th place. “I know I can do better and I want to do better. It just takes time. It”s awfully tough as a rookie to perform well and it will just take time. The more experience I gain and the harder I work the better it will be.”
Recently, Roberts played in a Future”s Tour Event on May 27-29.
“I got into the LPGA event but decided to warm up [before hand],” she said. “I haven”t played in a lot of tournaments [lately], to warm up I decided to play in a Futures Event in Indiana.”
Roberts, the youngest of eight children, began playing golf at a young age.
“My mom didn”t want me to, but I begged and begged and begged and she finally let me play,” Roberts said.
But she didn”t focus in on golf until her junior year of high school. She also loved basketball and soccer. Her father, Bruce Summerhays, said Carrie wanted to participate in all sports, even football and baseball.
“She always stayed by these boys who didn”t give her much lead way,” Summerhays said. “She grew up being tough and understanding what it took to succeed and be the best she could.”
As an all-state basketball player high school, Summerhays said she considered playing golf and basketball in college.
“She knew that just couldn”t work, that much time plus studying and doing all the other things just wasn”t available. So she narrowed it down to golf,” he said.
With her focus on golf, and only golf, her career took off.
“I never really took golf seriously,” Roberts said. “I was always pretty good at it but never took it seriously. Once I was a senior in high school, I said ”Well, I better decide what I want to do in college” and it came down to what I liked to do the most and what I had a future in, and that was golf. ”
At BYU, Roberts won six collegiate events. She was named Honorable Mention All-American, as well as a two-time Midwest Conference Player of the Year and four-time All-Midwest Conference selection.
BYU women”s golf coach Sue Nyhus said, “Her work ethic was fantastic. That is what made her stand out. She did what I always asked her to do, but then she always went above and beyond and did more. That”s what makes her great. The knowledge and experience that she had, I think, was a motivator for her that she knew she had to work hard to get what she wanted.”
Roberts said she learned how to compete at BYU before becoming the first Utahn to qualify for the LPGA tour.
“We were always competing on a higher level than just playing by myself,” Roberts said. “I was always playing against competition that was better than I was, and I had to practice harder than I was to be able to compete with them because I knew somebody was out there working harder than I was. It taught me hard work and a lot about time management, how to balance life and a profession at the same time.”
In September 2002, Roberts married her sweetheart, Cory. He quit college so that he could travel with his wife on the tour and be her caddy.
“Most people in their first year of marriage don”t get to spend as much time together as we did,” he said. “It really helped make our relationship strong.”
Cory was a big help to Carrie, going out to courses before her to plan out a strategy for each tournament, making yardage books and keeping her calm during her rounds. Carrie also had professional golf experience as a caddy for her dad on the PGA Senior Tour.
But the LPGA still threw Roberts many unexpected loops and trials. She said she was at a disadvantage because she was only a rookie and the courses were harder then she expected and being on tour was a larger time commitment than anticipated.
The first cut she ever made was the second tournament of the year. Her most memorable moment was playing with Patty Sheehan, a LPGA Hall of Fame player as well as World Golf Hall of Fame player.
“That was a real treat to play with her,” Roberts said. “I got to play with a lot of big names.”
With her rookie season complete, the Roberts” futures are both promising. Cory will graduate from BYU in December and start law school in September 2005. He fully supports Carrie”s endeavors. He said he doesn”t want to be portrayed as a husband who takes off a year of school to push her to win. He said he doesn”t matter what she does professionally, as long as she”s happy.
“I didn”t fall in love knowing she was going to be a professional golfer…. I just know that most people have a dream, and I have a long life to become an attorney and practice law and do what I”m going to do,” Cory Roberts said. “It was why not take a year off to support her and the dream she wants to do because she”s going to give it up pre-maturely so we can have a family.”
As for Carrie, her focus is to get back her fully exempt status. She is working out to improve on her endurance and plans to play until Cory starts law school.
“I”d love to win tournaments,” she said. “I think the ultimate goal is to try to be the best, and being the best is to win.”