Compton tales always involve his hearts

By Associated PressJanuary 15, 2012, 8:47 pm

HONOLULU (AP)—Justin Leonard finished hitting wedges on the range Sundaymorning and had moved on to irons as he worked his way through the bag beforethe final round of the Sony Open. Erik Compton arrived and took the spot next tohim.

About 10 minutes later, Leonard was surprised to hear the sound of a shotfrom over his shoulder. He turned to see Compton bending to tee up another ball.

“You’re hitting driver already?” Leonard said.

Erik Compton drives onto the 1…
AP - Jan 14, 5:56 pm EST
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Compton smiled and joked back, “I used to come out and just hit fourdrivers on the Nationwide Tour.”

One couldn’t help but wonder if that was yet another physical restrictionfor Compton, who already has had two heart transplants. Turns out it was thedesign of this range, which has a prevailing left-to-right wind that might leadto bad habits for the shape of his shot.

Compton, though, is used to every query involving his heart.

From the time he played in the 2001 Walker Cup, if not before, his story iswell known, and no less amazing.

Because of viral cardiomyopathy as a kid, he had his first heart transplantwhen he was 12. He suffered a heart attack on Oct. 3, 2007, and drove himself tothe hospital with his heart running at 15 percent capacity. His second hearttransplant was seven months later, and five months later made the cut on the PGATour while playing on a sponsor’s exemption.

The highlight for Compton, at least on the golf course, came last summerwhen he won the Mexico Open on the Nationwide Tour, which coupled with goodresults earlier, assured him of finishing in the top 25 on the money list andgraduating to the big leagues.

The Sony Open was his 31st start on the PGA Tour, his 20th since getting athird heart, his first as a full-fledged member. As if anyone could doubt afighting spirit, he was headed toward a missed cut until finishing birdie-eagleto make the cut on the number.

With another cut in effect Saturday, Compton made a 10-foot birdie on thelast hole that pushed him through to Sunday. It was worth another round, a smallexample of how the 32-year-old from Miami just keeps going.

There have been suggestions of a book, perhaps even a movie, of his life.

Hollywood would have no trouble finding the storybook ending. Going througha heart transplant to be a college success and play in the Walker Cup. Survivinga second heart transplant. Returning to play golf. Winning on the NationwideTour. Reaching the PGA Tour.

Where does it end?

“I don’t think my story is quite done yet,” Compton said. “I thinksometimes Hollywood wants an ending, and something that’s going to see is nevergood enough. You have to win a PGA event, and then you have to win a major, andthen you have to win a Grand Slam, and then you’ve got to be the president ofthe United States.

“It’s just a tough story to write, because it’s still in the process,”Compton said.

The hype over books and movies has subsided recently, which is OK withCompton. For all the trauma he has endured, despite a road to the PGA Tourunmatched by anyone in history, what appeals to him is the feel of a crisp shot,the satisfaction of making a big putt, a number on the card, a spot on theleaderboard.

“I just really want to be able to compete and be able to make adifference,” he said.

One of these days, Compton will get the same questions as most everyone elseon the PGA Tour—details of the round, key shots, being in contention, copingwith nerves going into the weekend with a chance.

He’s different, though, because while he wants to be a golfer and achieve asmuch as he can, he has a story to tell about transplants. If nothing else,Compton can inspire hope.

He has a partnership with Genetec, which uses human genetic information todevelop medicine to treat serious or life-threatening conditions. Comptondescribes it as a “perfect fit.”

“We’re trying to promote more organ donor awareness and trying to get morepeople to donate organs because there’s a shortage,” he said. “By me playingand being able to share my story, I think people will realize that it really isa real thing and it affects normal people every day. So I think that’s kind ofthe two sides of me—the player and the transplant side to it.

“I’ve done a good job of being able to balance that when I get on the golfcourse,” he said. “I just feel like a regular person, and being able to playsuccessful and good golf for me is just being healthy.”

But he is finding some normalcy in the clubhouse, on the putting green, atlunch, on the golf course.

“When I go in the locker room, they just look at me like I’m a regularplayer,” he said. “None of the players ever ask me, and I kind of respectthat, because they understand that I’m getting that on the other end. But I kindof blend in. I’m not like a superstar that people think. I’m just a regular guy,and I look like a regular guy.”

Compton can’t think of an interview when someone didn’t mention his heart,“unless it was a reporter that didn’t have the background or didn’t have aclue.” That’s OK. He expects to get that as long as he’s playing golf, and hedoesn’t mind talking about it.

Part of him looks forward to the day when he gets the same questions thatJeff Maggert received on Saturday after tying for the lead, or Brendon de Jonge on Friday after he switched back to his old putter and shot 62.

Or maybe not.

“When I see some interviews, they can be boring to me,” he said. “I mean,how much can you talk about golf?”

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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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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.