Compton captures Nationwide Tour's Mexico Open

By Associated PressJune 27, 2011, 1:20 am

LEON, Mexico – Erik Compton was diagnosed at age 9 with cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the heart that hinders its ability to pump blood. Three years later in 1992, he received a new heart and took up golf as part of his rehabilitation. That heart failed in 2008, and he had another transplant.

Through it all, he kept trying to make it to the PGA Tour, not as just the “guy with two heart transplants” who received the odd sponsor exemption or made it through a Monday qualifier, but as a full tour member.

The 31-year-old Miami player, once the top-ranked junior in the country, pretty much wrapped up that membership Sunday in the rain-delayed Mexico Open, rallying to win his first Nationwide Tour title – and first victory since turning professional in 2001.

“This tournament has kind of summed up my life,” said Compton, set to play the PGA Tour’s AT&T National this week in Pennsylvania on a sponsor exemption. “There was a lot of adversity to overcome in this tournament just like what I’ve dealt with personally. To win this is everything to me. I never thought I’d play golf again, at least not at this level, and I proved to myself I’m more than just a guy with two heart transplants.”

Compton closed with a 7-under 65 at El Bosque Country Club to finish at 17-under 271, two strokes ahead of Richard H. Lee. The two-time All-American at Georgia earned $126,000 to jump from 15th to second on the money list with $215,709, nearly guaranteeing a 2012 PGA Tour card as a top-25 finisher on the developmental tour. He also has made $83,962 this year in four PGA Tour starts.

“I do get a lot of opportunities to play in PGA Tour events because of my story,” he said. “But now that I’ve won out here and I’ve pretty much secured my tour card and I’ll get into events on that alone. And I’ve been playing professionally since I was 20 years old and never won, so I feel like it’s a monkey off my back.”

Compton had eight birdies and a bogey in the final round. He birdied the par-4 16th to get to 17 under, then parred the final two holes for the breakthrough victory.

“The guys who see me inside the ropes see me as a regular golfer,” Compton said. “But at the end of the day when I put my head down I realize how lucky I am. To be able to say I’ll be playing on the PGA Tour only four years after my heart transplant is unbelievable. I don’t really know what my future is in life. Hopefully, I can get a win out on tour now.”

Compton was only conditionally exempt on the Nationwide Tour at the start of the season, but quickly earned special-temporary membership. He tied for fourth in the season-opening Panama Championship and had another fourth-place tie in April in the Fresh Express Classic.

“To start off the season like I did set up the ground work,” Compton said. “This win has put me over the top. This is exactly what I needed. To think of what I went through and to have all the support and love of everyone around me, it’s almost unreal.”

After opening with rounds of 68 and 70, Compton shot a 68 on Sunday morning in the completion of the rain-delayed third round to begin the final 18 holes two strokes behind leaders Lee, Matthew Giles and Peter Lonard.

Lee needed a birdie on the par-5 18th to force a playoff, but bogeyed the hole for a 69.

Will Wilcox (68) was third at 14 under, a stroke ahead of Giles (71), Roberto Castro (65), James Nitties (68), Chris Baker (68) and Kyle Thompson (70). Lonard finished with a 73 to tie for 11th at 11 under.

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Woods wins Tour Championship by two strokes

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 9:56 pm

Tiger Woods cruised to his first victory in five years and No. 80 of his career Sunday at the Tour Championship. Here's the lowdown from the final round at East Lake.

Leaderboard: Tiger Woods (-11), Billy Horschel (-9), Dustin Johnson (-7), Hideki Matsuyama (-6), Webb Simpson (-6), Justin Rose (-6)

What it means: Coming off four back surgeries, Woods didn't know if he would play competitive golf again. Now, he has win No. 80 of his career after a vintage performance at the Tour Championship. Woods started the day with a three-shot lead, birdied the first hole and never looked back. His closest pursuers, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, never put any pressure on Woods. Woods' lead got down to two strokes after bogeys at 15 and 16, but a clutch par putt on 17 gave him a two-shot cushion. The 14-time major champ is now two wins away from Sam Snead's all-time wins record after collecting his third Tour Championship title.

Round of the day: Outside of Woods' clinical performance, Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler both shot 5-under 65s to finish in the top seven.

Best of the rest: Billy Horschel fired a 4-under 66 to finish in second place.

Biggest disappointment: McIlroy (74) and Rose (73) were both three behind Woods starting the day, but they didn't put up a fight. McIlroy was 4 over par on the front nine, and Rose fell apart on the back nine and had to make birdie on 18 just to win the FedExCup title.

Shot of the day: Woods holed a 3-foot par putt on the 17th hole to keep a two-shot lead heading to 18.

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Stricker wins Sanford for third Champions title of season

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 9:55 pm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Steve Stricker won the inaugural Sanford International on Sunday for his third PGA Tour Champions title of the year, closing with a 3-under 67 for a four-stroke victory.

The 51-year-old Stricker birdied three of the first four holes and offset bogeys on 13 and 18 with birdies on 15 and 16. He shared the lead after each of the first two rounds, shooting 63-67 at Minnehaha Country Club.

Stricker also won in Arizona and Mississippi in consecutive starts in May for his first senior victories. Next week in France, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants.

Stricker finished at 13-under 197, and match Paul Broadhurst for the tour victory lead.

Tim Petrovic (65) and Jerry Smith (70) tied for second.

Brandt Jobe, tied for the second-round lead with Stricker, had a 72 to drop into a tie for fourth with Kevin Sutherland (67) at 8 under.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 23, 2018, 9:30 pm

Tiger Woods closed out his 80th PGA Tour win with a tap-in on the final hole of the Tour Championship at East Lake. We've been tracking him.


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Lewis wins Portugal Masters for second time

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 6:19 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters for a second time after shooting a 5-under 66 in Sunday's final round.

Lewis finished three strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) and Australia's Lucas Herbert (71).

Sergio Garcia prepared for the Ryder Cup next weekend with a 65 to finish seven strokes behind Lewis.

Lewis made six birdies along with a single bogey on No. 10 to finish the tournament at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course on 22-under 262.

Herbert led through the first three rounds only to struggle on the final day. He hit a double bogey on the final hole to finish the round on par.

Lewis had trailed Herbert by nine shots after the first round.

''It's been a rough ride but this week I played hard,'' Lewis said. ''I obviously got off to a bad start, to finish the way I've been finishing has been brilliant.''

Lewis first won the tournament in 2011.

''I think this one means more,'' Lewis said, ''it means a lot to come and win this again.''