Poor driving costs Compton shot at first title


LA QUINTA, Calif. – Erik Compton wasn’t interested in consolation prizes Sunday after what he called a “pretty pathetic” performance at the Humana Challenge.

OK, so it wasn’t that bad – his 2-under 70 left him three shots back and in a tie for 10th. But the disappointing finale left him in no mood to search for positives following his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

“Statistics don’t mean anything,” he said. “It was the same for me (sharing the lead). No difference. I know it sounds kind of negative, but it’s not, because if I looked at statistics, I wouldn’t be standing here, so they don’t mean anything to me.

“I had an opportunity to play well. I’m proud of myself. I hung in there. I only made two bogeys all week. But I was lost with my driver.”

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Indeed, Compton hit only 7 of 13 fairways while averaging 279 yards per pop. Short and crooked isn’t a recipe for success at PGA West, and the inaccuracy put undue stress on his short game.

Despite starting with a birdie on the opening hole and leading early in the round, Compton failed to birdie each of the five par 5s Sunday.

“I mean, you’ve got to put your foot down,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s so much the pressure,” he continued. “I just think today really wasn’t my day. I gutted it out and was able to get something out of it, but you’ve just got to move on and try to do something next week.”

This was Compton’s fifth career top 10 on the PGA Tour. His best finish remains the tie for second at last year’s U.S. Open, a performance that earned him a spot in the Masters.