Compton shares lead at Greenbrier Classic

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2010, 4:44 am

Greenbrier Classic

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Erik Compton is a walking billboard for organ donation and sheer determination.

He’s also at the top of the Greenbrier Classic leaderboard.

Playing on a late sponsor exemption, the 30-year-old double heart transplant recipient shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to share the first-round lead with rookie Matt Every in the inaugural tournament.

Compton spent eight straight days doing yard work at home in Miami before he got the call Saturday to play in the tournament. He’s making the most of his late invite, overcoming a slow start with nine birdies on the Old White course.

“You know, some guys miss six, seven cuts in a row and then win,” Compton said. “I know I’m a good player, and I have a lot of the adversity in front of me with the game and health. But I always feel like if I stick in there and keep trying, something eventually good is going to happen.”

George McNeill, Pat Perez and Jeff Overton opened with 64s.

Nearly all of the field hadn’t played the course before this week, but it wasn’t a detriment – 24 players were at 4 under or better.

Randall MellErik Compton is admired for his ability to get back up and fight after two heart transplants, but a lot of people watching him work magic at the Greenbrier Classic Thursday don’t know this trait is in the family genes.

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While more than half of the field is in jeopardy of missing the FedEx Cup playoffs and others are trying to secure spots in next month’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Compton is taking it week by week, looking to solidify a future either on the PGA Tour or the Nationwide circuit.

A few years ago, it wasn’t looking so bright.

Compton was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy at age 9. The disease inflames the heart and leaves it unable to pump as hard as it needs to. His first transplant came three years later and another occurred in 2008.

He didn’t think he’d play golf again and even sold his equipment after the second transplant. But his health improved quickly and he returned to the game within weeks.

This season he’s made four cuts in seven starts.

In the past he might have denied that his double transplants would have been a bigger deal than shooting a low score, but not now.

“It affects so many people,” Compton said.

Compton’s stamina is good, though he admits it may not be up to the level of other players. That’s in part due to the hilly terrain and expansive layout of some courses.

Fortunately for him, Old White is relatively flat.

“My health is great. I keep a good eye on it,” Compton said. “I’m almost like a doctor now myself because I’ve been through so much and being able to manage medications and take it on the road.”

Good friend Victor Billskoog, who’s carrying Compton’s bag this week for the first time, is hoping to attend the PGA Tour’s qualifying school and uses Compton as an inspiration.

“He has such a great story coming from the depths that he came from,” Billskoog said. “When I get down on myself and think about how hard I’m having it, I think about Erik and his remarkable story.”

An accurate driver, Compton showed a good all-around game Thursday, reaching 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation. He needed just 26 putts.

Things didn’t start out so good.

Compton bogeyed two of the first three holes, then rattled off seven birdies over a nine-hole stretch. He also birdied the par-4 14th and his chip from behind the green to the par-5 17th hit the flag, leaving him with another short birdie.

“I’m just trying to enjoy the opportunity,” Compton said. “It’s just the first round. I’ve played this sport long enough to know that (Friday) I tee off at 2 o’clock and might be seven back. So I’m just trying to be patient.”

Compton’s previous best round this year was 4-under 67 in February at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. His best finish was a tie for 30th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

He qualified for the U.S. Open in June after a 36-hole sectional that included a playoff. He shot 77-81 in the Open and missed the cut.

After missing the cut two weeks ago at the Reno-Tahoe Open, Compton went back to his new home for some serious yard work, planting palm, oak and Italian Cypress trees and redoing the lawn.

“I’ve done flowers before, but nothing will grow in 150-degree weather in Miami,” Compton said.

After more than a week of getting his hands dirty, he got the call to play golf again – and has come to appreciate the beauty of Old White, which has undergone some tweaking and considerable floral touch ups in preparation for the tournament.

“This place is immaculate,” Compton said. “That why it’s so neat to see the landscaping here. As a golfer, you like to have your yard look nice.”

Every, starting on the back nine, eagled the par-5 12th and had three straight birdies to make the turn at 6 under. He added a birdie at the par-4 sixth hole.

The 26-year-old Every’s best finish is eighth at the Phoenix Open in late February. He’s played in just 11 tournaments in the last five months after breaking his left pinky finger.

“My game’s coming around,” said Every, recently arrested in Iowa and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He has denied possessing marijuana.

Overton, seeking his fifth top-10 finish this season, had the chance to tie for the lead but made bogey on the par-3 18th after his tee shot flew the green.

Brendon de Jonge, Charles Howell III, Aron Price, Matt Bettencourt and John Rollins shot 65s. Jim Furyk, who’s fifth in the FedExCup points standings and can jump past Ernie Els into the top spot with a second place or better finish, had a 68.

Carl Pettersson, winner of the Canadian Open last week, had a 71.

Afternoon play was stopped for 1 hour, 33 minutes due to storms.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.