PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Erik Compton’s staying with his family at the PGA National Resort & Spa hotel during the Honda Classic, but this week feels like a home game.
Compton, 33, who lives in Coral Gables, about 90 minutes south of the Champion Course, begins the weekend at 3-under 137 and tied for 25th, six shots off the lead after rounds of 69 and 68.
As a junior, Compton dueled Jonathan Byrd down the stretch of the Optimist International Junior Championship one year with Byrd prevailing. Compton played more than one big event here growing up. A two-time heart transplant recipient, Compton is playing in front of a lot of friendly faces who have cheered him through his ordeals and marveled at his resilience.
“To be here in Florida and to be able to play in front of family and friends makes for a nice weekend,” Compton said. “I’ve played well here growing up. I’ve had some great rounds here.
“This is a big golf course where you have to hit good shots. I like that test. You can’t fake it around here if you’re not playing well. Par’s a good score here.”
Compton’s looking to improve on his best PGA Tour finish, a tie for 13th at the John Deere Classic last year. He tied for 15th at the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year.