Notes Erik Compton to pay tribute to heart donor

By Associated PressJune 3, 2009, 4:00 pm
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DUBLIN, Ohio ' If not for a 28-year-old named Isaac, Erik Compton would not be alive.
 
So when Compton had the opportunity to play on a sponsor exemption this week at the Memorial Tournament in suburban Columbus ' where Isaac lived before he was killed in a hit-and-run accident ' it seemed like a fitting tribute.
 
Comptons heart, the third that has beat in his chest, is Isaacs.
 
I wrote (Isaacs family) a letter and said that Id be honoring him and making this a memorable week because it is ironic that I do have a heart from somebody who is from this town, Compton said Wednesday. This week I want to perform as best as I can and keep that the focus.
 
The 29-year-old Compton has survived two transplants since he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart when he was a child. He received his first transplant when he was 12; it belonged to a 15-year-old girl named Jannine.
 
After a glittering college career at Georgia, he turned pro. He played on a sponsor exemption at the 2002 Memorial and missed the cut, moving on to the mini-tours to hone his game.
 
Then in October 2007 he felt another heart attack coming on. His transplanted heart had lasted 16 years.
 
Enter Isaac, killed while riding his motorcycle. One life ended, another was extended.
 
Compton was in a hospital room a year ago during the Memorial, recovering from his second transplant surgery.
 
He failed to get his PGA Tour card by one stroke last fall hes played in three events this year, all on sponsors exemptions. Comptons wife, Barbara, gave birth to daughter Petra on Feb. 22. Just a few weeks later, he made the cut at the Honda.
 
His life is full, and full of promise.
 
Right now Im pretty much healed, he said. Six more months and Ill be stronger than I am now.
 
He hopes to play well in the Memorial, which starts Thursday. Then he plans to meet with Isaacs family.
 
Weve had some contact and theyre well aware of who I am and Im aware of who they are, Compton said. Its a very, very strong family. Theyre a very spiritual family. And theyre very understanding of what Im trying to do ' trying to live life the way their son would have wanted.
 

 
NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Theres something about a traditional, tree-lined Midwestern course that Zach Johnson likes.
 
This is what I grew up on, he said Wednesday, a day before the opening round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. I love the tree lines. I love the bentgrass. I love the fast greens, the substantial rough. I just like how you have to plot your way around it.
 
Yet the problem for the Iowa native is that he has never won on such a course. His five wins on Tour are the BellSouth (Georgia), Masters (Georgia), AT&T (Georgia), Valero (Texas) and Sony Open (Hawaii).
 
I havent had a whole lot of stellar finishes in the north, Johnson said. I finished second here once (two shots back of winner Carl Pettersson in 2006). I dont know if Ive had any other top-10s up north.
 

 
HONOREES: Each year the Memorial honors players and contributors who have helped make the game what it is. This years honorees are JoAnne Carner, who won 43 times on the LPGA, and Jackie Burke Jr., winner of 17 PGA Tour titles including two majors.
 
Carner was known as a free spirit who would banter with pro-am partners, fellow competitors and galleries. During honoree ceremonies on Tuesday near the 18th green, she said one of her nicknames was Shank.
 
She related how, after she repeatedly had trouble with wedge shots near an elevated green, a playing partner asked if she might just try some other club.
 
Why? Im just now getting the hang of this one, she cracked.
 
Plaques bearing the honorees likenesses are mounted in a small area near the first tee at Muirfield Village.
 

 
QUOTABLE: Rocco Mediate, on whether the Memorial serves as preparation for the U.S. Open: I would never say Im using it more to prepare for the U.S. Open. Im using the Memorial to try to win the Memorial.
 

 
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Course designer Jack Nicklaus admits to tinkering with his layout at Muirfield Village. Every year, it seems, he makes changes. Some years the changes are more dramatic than others.
 
He made only two minor tweaks to the course since the 2008 Memorial. On both the 11th and 18th holes, he slightly raised the front of each green to allow for additional pin placements and to prevent approach shots from spinning all the way down the hills leading up to both.
 
We didnt really do anything significant from last year, Nicklaus said.
 
Oh, he also OKd about four miles of drainage pipe being put into the fairways. After heavy rainfall throughout Wednesdays Skins Game at the course, those pipes got their first workout during competition.
 

 
RAIN GAUGE: A cold front hit the course just early Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by heavy rain. The forecast calls for a slight chance of rain for Thursdays opening round, sunny conditions on Friday and Saturday and a chance of a shower on Sunday. Temperatures will rise into the 70s throughout the tournament.
 

 
DIVOTS: Defending champion Kenny Perry has made 15 consecutive cuts at Muirfield Village, dating to 1992 ' the year after winning his first of three Memorials. That same 1992 Memorial was also the last time the tournament had a playoff. The 16-year stretch without a playoff is the longest on the PGA Tour. Trevor Immelman withdrew due to tendinitis in his left wrist and was replaced by Jesper Parnevik. Cliff Kresge took Dean Wilsons place. Six players have won the Memorial more than once, and its an impressive list: Tiger Woods and Kenny Perry (three times each), Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Greg Norman and Tom Watson (twice apiece).
 
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    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.