PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Despite a bogey on the 72nd hole, Erik Compton had reason to smile after finishing the Honda Classic in a tie for fourth, his best career finish on the PGA Tour.
'I've been trying to do this for a long time. It's been a great year for me, just really exciting,' explained Compton, who finished at 4-under 206 after shooting a pair of even-par 70s over the final two rounds.
Twice a heart transplant recipient, the Miami native's best prior finish was a tie for 13th at last year's John Deere Classic. After the round he noted that the internal drive that had him frustrated over the closing bogey is also largely responsible for his ability to overcome obstacles off the course.
'It's hard to put it all into words how special it is, but I'm such a competitive guy,' he said after making two birdies against two bogeys in his round Sunday. 'That's probably why I'm still alive.'
Having just notched his first career top-10 finish on Tour, Compton insisted that this week's result serves merely as a step in a process that he hopes will lead to attaining some larger goals.
'It's hard for me to get too sentimental about it, because I've turned a corner on my story,' he noted. 'I really want to be one of the top 50 players in the world, and I have the game to do it.'
While recent headlines have often been dominated by some of the game's rising stars, Compton shared some of the growth he's experienced since coming up in the game as a promising junior golfer.
'You know what, I thought I was pretty darned good when I was 23. When you're young, you think you're really good and that you have the game figured out,' explained Compton, who turned 33 in November. 'I'm a better player now and, you know, it just takes a lot of time to get good at golf.'