After Further Review: Don't overlook Compton's T-2


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Erik Compton's incredible journey from two heart transplants to a share of second place at the U.S. Open, Martin Kaymer's freakish performance and the "rough" at Pinehurst No. 2.

Usually your name has to be Phil Mickelson to finish in second place at a U.S. Open and lock up honors as one of the most newsworthy stories of the year. But this time, that accolade will be heaped upon Erik Compton – and for good reason. His backstory might have been drummed into our heads so often over the past few days that we’re now taking it for granted, but we shouldn’t. Compton isn’t just one of the best stories in golf, he’s one of the best stories in all of sports. A two-time heart transplant recipient finished runner-up at a major championship. He will now compete in next year’s Masters and U.S. Open, while taking away all of the spoils that arise with such a strong showing. He didn’t win a trophy this weekend, but Compton was still a big winner. – Jason Sobel

They say nobody remembers who finishes second. The folks who watched Erik Compton tie for second at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday beg to differ. They’ll never forget what this remarkable man did here. Compton, 35, nearly trumped the Miracle at Merion, Ben Hogan’s victory in his return from a nearly fatal car accident in the 1950 U.S. Open. Every shot Compton took around Pinehurst this week was a miracle given he is competing at such a high level after not one, but two heart transplants. You would have thought Compton was the champion when he walked up the 18th fairway Sunday, with the huge ovation that washed over him. I’ll remember Martin Kaymer’s tour-de-force performance from this week, but I’ll also never forget the guy who finished second. – Randall Mell

So much for a season where the big names can’t close. In the wake of Bubba Watson’s win at Augusta, Martin Kaymer has now pulled off an unprecedented double, winning The Players and U.S. Open within six weeks. What’s even more impressive, though, is that Kaymer won both events by going wire-to-wire. This year we have seen plenty of big names falter and have crowned several unexpected champions, but Kaymer just took on the best names in golf on a world-class course with a target on his back, and he held them all off – twice. We have plenty of time to prognosticate what this might mean for the rest of his career, but let’s also take a moment to appreciate the feat he just accomplished. It’s hard enough to protect a lead on the PGA Tour, but doing it in this type of fashion is worth some recognition. - Will Gray

I like Pinehurst, but I like my U.S. Open with traditional rough more. The results this week speak volumes – three men were under par, two of them were only 1 under and the other was a freakazoid. The No. 2 course was up to the challenge and dealt as much damage as most other Open tracks. But, and there’s always a but, I didn’t think the native areas created much consternation. Crazy, thick, gnarly rough creates oodles of anxiety and often the prudent play is to hack out sideways back into the fairway. That didn’t happen this week. Martin Kaymer was going to win if this Open was played on Mars, but he wouldn’t have made eagle on the fifth hole Saturday from the junk if the junk was traditional rough. Can't help it. That’s how I like my Open. – Jay Coffin

After Pebble Beach, Pinehurst remains the top U.S. Open venue. Despite a surprising amount of social media scrutiny and an unstoppable German who looked to be playing the adjacent No. 5 course, the Donald Ross gem solidified its status as the home of golf in the United States and, wait for it, a fair but challenging test. While the scruffy edges and parched, brown turf may not have shown well in HiDef, the redesigned No. 2 course is exactly what golf should be. The setup, which yielded back-to-back 65s from Martin Kaymer to start the week, may not have been to some fans' liking, but the course was perfect. – Rex Hoggard