Compton fails but others pass into final stage of Q-School

By Associated PressNovember 15, 2008, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)BROOKSVILLE, Fla. ' Erik Compton, playing six months after a second heart transplant, failed to advance by one shot in the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying after he closed with a 1-over 73 on Saturday.
Compton was tied for 13th going into the final round at Southern Hills Plantation Club, but had two bogeys in the opening three holes and never quite caught up. He was even at the turn, but bogeyed the 15th and finished with three pars for a 6-under 282 to tie for 22nd.
Only the top 20 and ties advance to the final stage of Q-school next month in California.
Todd Demsey, who returned to the PGA Tour this year after surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumor from his brain, closed with a 68 to share medalist honors with Camilo Benedetti at 13-under 275.
Demsey was 197th on the money list this year, requiring him to return to the second stage.
Among those to advance at Southern Hills Plantation were former PGA Tour winners Robert Gamez, John Huston, Garrett Willis and Michael Bradley.
The 28-year-old Compton had his first heart transplant at age 12, but had a heart attack last October. He had another transplant in May, and recovered quickly enough to make it through the first stage by closing with a 68 to advance on the number.
He successfully petitioned the PGA Tour to ride a cart.
Had he made it through the second stage, Compton would have been assured at least temporary status on the Nationwide Tour. Now he will only be able to play on sponsor exemptions. He received one last week at Disney, where he made the cut and tied for 60th.
PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said Compton was given six months to ride in a cart until he gets his full strength back.
In other qualifiers Saturday:
  • Former tour winners Chris Riley and Robert Damron shared medalists honors with Oskar Bergman of Sweden to lead 20 players who advanced to the final stage from Callaway Gardens in Georgia.
    Riley, who played in the 2004 Ryder Cup, closed with a 69 to post all four rounds in the 60s. Also advancing were Ryder Cup assistant captain Olin Browne, former Presidents Cup player Carlos Franco of Paraguay and former tour winner Chris Smith.
    Among those who did not finish among the top 20 were Billy Andrade and Len Mattiace, who lost a playoff in the 2003 Masters.
  • Steve Wheatcroft closed with a 68 to lead 23 players who advanced from Hombre Golf Club in Panama City, Fla. Also advancing was David Berganio Jr., who birdied two of the last three holes for a 64 to make it on the number.
    Among those who failed were Dicky Pride, former Ryder Cup player Per-Ulrik Johansson and television analyst Bobby Clampett.
  • Former PGA champion Mark Brooks was among 21 players who advanced to the final stage from Deerwood Golf Club in Kingwood, Texas. Chris Stroud closed with a 70 and was medalist by four shots. Other former tour winners to advance were Willie Wood, Glen Day and Neal Lancaster. Among those who failed to advance were J.L. Lewis.
    The final stage of Q-school will be Dec. 3-8 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
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    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

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    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”