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Compton cruises to 2nd stage

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The fall is familiar ground for Erik Compton. The two-time heart transplant recipient carded rounds of 66-69-70-70 to tie for fourth at his first stage Q-School event in Port St. Lucie, Fla., last week.

Compton is scheduled to play second stage at the Hombre Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Fla., Nov. 17-20 and is also waiting to hear whether he lands a sponsor exemption into next week’s season-ending event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Compton missed advancing to final stage in 2008 by a stroke and struggled at second stage last year, but on Monday he was confident about his chances at the fall classic and beyond.

“I’m geared up for this time of year,” said Compton, who has advanced to final stage just once (2001) and struggled with fatigue to a tie for 145th. “A lot of guys are coming off a long year and may be feeling a little defeated. I kind of have a leg up on guys who are kind of burned out.”

In 2008 Compton petitioned the PGA Tour to use a golf cart during Q-School under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Compton said he has not considered a similar request for this year.

“Six rounds (at final stage) is tough,” he said. “It’s a lot of golf and I know I passed out a few years ago at final stage. Right now I just want to focus on getting through second stage.”

Although players are required to submit a request to use a golf cart under the ADA “60 days prior to the competition,” Andy Pazder, the Tour’s senior vice president of tournament administration, said they would consider an application submitted within a reasonable amount of time.

Compton was granted the use of a golf cart in Tour-sanctioned events from Oct. 21, 2008 through March 31, 2009, but he would be required to submit a new application for future events. In fact, “if he would have asked for an extension in 2009 we would have asked him to resubmit an application,” Pazder said.