Now a dad Comptons story resumes at Honda

By Associated PressMarch 2, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. ' Everyone in this weeks Honda Classic field has the goal of walking down the 18th fairway Sunday with a trophy and $1 million awaiting.
 
Everyone except Erik Compton.
 
Hed settle for just the walking.
 
Comptons feel-good story returns to the PGA Tour this week, through a sponsors exemption into the Honda at PGA National. Hell be in a tournament as a father for the first time ' daughter Petra was born Feb. 22 ' and about 10 months removed from his second heart transplant surgery.
 
The odds say he wont win. Of course, the odds also say he wouldnt be a father. Or even still alive, for that matter.
 
Three hearts later, Im a part in creating a new life, the 29-year-old Compton said Monday, sleep-deprived from adjusting to life with a newborn. Whatever happens to me, shes going to eventually know my story and how she was brought into this world with a story. I mean, I never, ever thought Id be a father. I never even thought Id make it to college. As far as Ive made it and to look at her and to know I had a little part in it its really neat.
 
His is a story the golf world has latched onto, with good reason.
 
Compton learned Monday that hell play on another exemption at Bay Hill at the end of the month. He was invited to play in Dubai not long ago. Just about everyone he passes in the locker room asks how hes doing, how hes feeling.
 
A wonderful story, Honda Classic executive director Ken Kennerly said. Obviously, what he has gone through in his lifetime as a young person is unbelievable. We thought it was only appropriate to try to give back to Erik and we hope, frankly, that this is the start of Eriks new career on the PGA Tour.
 
Compton clearly hopes the same. After all, hes got a wife and daughter to support now.
 
Im not normal, Compton said. But its time.
 
Heart problems found him long before he found golf.
 
At 9, he was diagnosed with a condition that caused his heart to enlarge and therefore struggle to pump blood. At 12, he got his first transplant. In October 2007, he had a massive heart attack, drove himself to the hospital and was convinced he was going to die right there.
 
The greatest shots I ever hit, Compton said, were in a hospital.
 
Doctors saved him that fall day, but it was clear he needed another transplant.
 
The new heart ' the third chance at life ' arrived last May, and about five months later, Compton rallied to make it through the first round of Q-School. After that, he played in the PGA Tours season-ending event at Disney.
 
Theres a lot of great players, but Im competing against myself, Compton said. Im trying to do something that nobody in the world has ever done.
 
Those who know him say they wouldnt bet against him.
 
I dont know someone as confident as Erik, said Charlie DeLucca, his mentor who was with him at PGA National on Monday.
 
Compton doesnt have all his strength back, and possibly never will. Once a big hitter who would argue with Camilo Villegas over whom was longer off the tee ' their numbers used to be practically identical on the Nationwide Tour ' hes lost maybe as much as 30 to 40 yards off his drives.
 
And hes got to conserve his energy, too. He played 36 holes Thursday and 36 more Friday, plus took part in a pro-am at PGA National on Monday. After that, he doesnt expect to play again until the tournament begins, skipping Tuesday and Wednesday to rest.
 
Playing is hard for Compton. Not playing is even harder.
 
My wife, my friends, my family, they have to tell me to take it easy, said Compton, who swallows a handful of pills three times a day, including some beta-blockers that are typically prohibited under the PGA Tours drug policy.
 
Compton wants to win tournaments, of course, and bank the kind of money thatll take care of his family.
 
But thats hardly his sole focus, not even close. He prides himself on being a living, breathing example of the sort of life transplant recipients can have. Hes an advocate, is working with a foundation, will even have a play with a pro event next week with retired basketball star Alonzo Mourning, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2003.
 
So this week, its not about winning. Its about walking.
 
The PGA Tour is allowing him to use a cart this week if he deems it necessary. He desperately doesnt want that to happen.
 
For me to be able to walk four days is part of a separate goal, Compton said. For me, being able to walk four days and play coming down Sunday is a huge accomplishment but I might not perform as well if I was in a cart.
 
This week, to him, that simply doesnt matter.
 
Its been a goal of mine to get back and play and walk, Compton said. Its going to be a good week. With the birth of our daughter, its been a pretty tiring week, but hopefully somewhere in the mix I can play a little golf.
 
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  • Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.