Erik Compton jumped on a plane bound for Cancun primarily for the sun. What he got for his troubles was so much more.
The two-time heart transplant recipient went to Mexico for a vacation with his wife and decided while he was there he would give the Monday qualifier for the Mayakoba Golf Classic a shot. Carrying his own bag, something he hasn’t done since college, he bogeyed two of his last three holes and still shot 66 to take medalist honors.
Compton finished tied for 40th at Mayakoba despite a third-round 73 and was encouraged by his game, as well as his body.
“If I do the things I think I can do and improve it will work out instead of week in and week out putting too much pressure on myself,” said Compton, noting he has the energy now to practice after his round, something he hasn’t been able to do for four years.
Monday qualifying – which favors players who make a lot of birdies, like Compton – will be Compton’s primary focus the next few weeks. He was hoping to four-spot for next week’s Honda Classic, although officials were not sure he could get into the event, and will play the Puerto Rico Open qualifier if he doesn’t get a sponsor exemption.
“I think I just understand things better,” Compton said. “At 30 you really understand yourself. It’s a complete rebirth for me.”