Compton has new heart but game still strong

By Associated PressNovember 5, 2008, 5:00 pm
ChildrenLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ' The story going around is that Erik Compton jokingly told friends he wants a few mulligans when he plays in his first PGA tournament in three years this weekend.
 
I didnt say that, but Ill take them if theyre offered, Compton joked.
 
Hes already had two.
 
The 28-year-old, only six months after his second heart transplant, will tee it up at the Childrens Miracle Network Classic at Disney World Thursday through Sunday.
 
Compton, diagnosed with an enlarged heart as a child, received his first heart transplant at age 12. He became one of the top junior golfers, competing in the Walker Cup in 2001. He had his second transplant in May, and made it past the first stage of Q-school last month.
 
The irony of getting a sponsors exemption to this particular tournament was not lost on Compton.
 
Considering everything that Ive been through, I kind of know what kids are going through, because Ive been there, he said.
 
Coming at the end of the year, when many players take time off, the tournament features only five of the worlds top 20 ranked players, including only one in the top 10, Stewart Cink.
 
With the heart of a 26-year-old All-America volleyball player killed in a motorcycle accident beating in his chest, Compton said he has more confidence in his game than ever before.
 
My body is in good shape right now, he said. I mean Im not completely 100 percent like I was, but you know, thats why this game is just (where) you could be injured and be swinging at it better.
 
Even his putting is better, which he attributes'in part'to teaching others the skill.
 
Maybe my eyes got corrected during surgery, too, he said.
 
Comptons given other golfers a lift. Brad Admonis, a good friend whos playing in the Classic, said he got a call after he won a tournament in Midland shortly after Comptons surgery.
 
He told me to just go out there and play, Admonis said. What did I have to lose, you know? He was in the hospital, so that was inspiring to me.
 
Only five months after his second transplant Compton survived windy and wet conditions to advance to the second stage of Q-school qualifying next week.
 
This is going to be very, very stressful on my body, but if I play really well here, I wont have to go to Q School, Compton said.
 
The PGA granted an exemption for Compton to use a golf cart and take banned medication he needs to prevent rejection of his new heart. Compton takes doses twice a day and has to undergo biopsies regularly to make sure the heart is sound, but he said otherwise he lives a normal life.
 
Obviously, now Im using a golf cart, so thats the only difference, which hopefully will change in the next few months as I get stronger, he said.
 
Compton is the second tour player to be allowed to use a cart. Casey Martin sued the PGA in the 1990s because a degenerative leg disease kept him from walking 18 holes. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 2001, clearing the way for Compton.
 
He used to ask me how my heart was, and I used to ask him how his leg was, Compton said.
 
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.