Just before dusk on Sunday, long after Justin Rose had collected his first PGA Tour title and the locker room had emptied of players, Erik Compton kicked over a bucket of golf balls and started searching for answers on the Muirfield Village practice tee.
The two-time heart-transplant recipient had just signed for a closing 82 and finished 71st at the Memorial Tournament, last among the players who made the cut, and clearly wasn’t happy with his swing and in no mood to talk.
Compton, who struggles late in rounds as his energy and focus wane, worked for about 40 minutes, adjusting the grips on his clubs while working his way through his bag.
Less than 24 hours later, after 36 holes of qualifying (69-66) and a three-players-for-two-spots playoff at Springfield Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, Compton was headed to the U.S. Open for the first time.
Hogan was right, the secret is in the dirt.