Compton shares lead at Greenbrier Classic

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2010, 4:44 am

Greenbrier Classic

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Erik Compton is a walking billboard for organ donation and sheer determination.

He’s also at the top of the Greenbrier Classic leaderboard.

Playing on a late sponsor exemption, the 30-year-old double heart transplant recipient shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to share the first-round lead with rookie Matt Every in the inaugural tournament.

Compton spent eight straight days doing yard work at home in Miami before he got the call Saturday to play in the tournament. He’s making the most of his late invite, overcoming a slow start with nine birdies on the Old White course.

“You know, some guys miss six, seven cuts in a row and then win,” Compton said. “I know I’m a good player, and I have a lot of the adversity in front of me with the game and health. But I always feel like if I stick in there and keep trying, something eventually good is going to happen.”

George McNeill, Pat Perez and Jeff Overton opened with 64s.

Nearly all of the field hadn’t played the course before this week, but it wasn’t a detriment – 24 players were at 4 under or better.

Randall MellErik Compton is admired for his ability to get back up and fight after two heart transplants, but a lot of people watching him work magic at the Greenbrier Classic Thursday don’t know this trait is in the family genes.

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While more than half of the field is in jeopardy of missing the FedEx Cup playoffs and others are trying to secure spots in next month’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Compton is taking it week by week, looking to solidify a future either on the PGA Tour or the Nationwide circuit.

A few years ago, it wasn’t looking so bright.

Compton was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy at age 9. The disease inflames the heart and leaves it unable to pump as hard as it needs to. His first transplant came three years later and another occurred in 2008.

He didn’t think he’d play golf again and even sold his equipment after the second transplant. But his health improved quickly and he returned to the game within weeks.

This season he’s made four cuts in seven starts.

In the past he might have denied that his double transplants would have been a bigger deal than shooting a low score, but not now.

“It affects so many people,” Compton said.

Compton’s stamina is good, though he admits it may not be up to the level of other players. That’s in part due to the hilly terrain and expansive layout of some courses.

Fortunately for him, Old White is relatively flat.

“My health is great. I keep a good eye on it,” Compton said. “I’m almost like a doctor now myself because I’ve been through so much and being able to manage medications and take it on the road.”

Good friend Victor Billskoog, who’s carrying Compton’s bag this week for the first time, is hoping to attend the PGA Tour’s qualifying school and uses Compton as an inspiration.

“He has such a great story coming from the depths that he came from,” Billskoog said. “When I get down on myself and think about how hard I’m having it, I think about Erik and his remarkable story.”

An accurate driver, Compton showed a good all-around game Thursday, reaching 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation. He needed just 26 putts.

Things didn’t start out so good.

Compton bogeyed two of the first three holes, then rattled off seven birdies over a nine-hole stretch. He also birdied the par-4 14th and his chip from behind the green to the par-5 17th hit the flag, leaving him with another short birdie.

“I’m just trying to enjoy the opportunity,” Compton said. “It’s just the first round. I’ve played this sport long enough to know that (Friday) I tee off at 2 o’clock and might be seven back. So I’m just trying to be patient.”

Compton’s previous best round this year was 4-under 67 in February at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. His best finish was a tie for 30th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

He qualified for the U.S. Open in June after a 36-hole sectional that included a playoff. He shot 77-81 in the Open and missed the cut.

After missing the cut two weeks ago at the Reno-Tahoe Open, Compton went back to his new home for some serious yard work, planting palm, oak and Italian Cypress trees and redoing the lawn.

“I’ve done flowers before, but nothing will grow in 150-degree weather in Miami,” Compton said.

After more than a week of getting his hands dirty, he got the call to play golf again – and has come to appreciate the beauty of Old White, which has undergone some tweaking and considerable floral touch ups in preparation for the tournament.

“This place is immaculate,” Compton said. “That why it’s so neat to see the landscaping here. As a golfer, you like to have your yard look nice.”

Every, starting on the back nine, eagled the par-5 12th and had three straight birdies to make the turn at 6 under. He added a birdie at the par-4 sixth hole.

The 26-year-old Every’s best finish is eighth at the Phoenix Open in late February. He’s played in just 11 tournaments in the last five months after breaking his left pinky finger.

“My game’s coming around,” said Every, recently arrested in Iowa and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He has denied possessing marijuana.

Overton, seeking his fifth top-10 finish this season, had the chance to tie for the lead but made bogey on the par-3 18th after his tee shot flew the green.

Brendon de Jonge, Charles Howell III, Aron Price, Matt Bettencourt and John Rollins shot 65s. Jim Furyk, who’s fifth in the FedExCup points standings and can jump past Ernie Els into the top spot with a second place or better finish, had a 68.

Carl Pettersson, winner of the Canadian Open last week, had a 71.

Afternoon play was stopped for 1 hour, 33 minutes due to storms.

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Arizona caps an improbable journey with a title

By Ryan LavnerMay 24, 2018, 3:49 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Five hours before the final match at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Arizona coach Laura Ianello sat cross-legged on a couch in the Holiday Inn lobby and broke down four times in a half-hour interview.

It’s been that kind of exhausting season.

From poor play to stunning midseason defections to a stroke-play collapse, Ianello has felt uneasy for months. She has felt like she was losing control. Felt like her carefully crafted roster was coming apart.

So to even have a chance to win a NCAA title?

“I know what this team has gone through,” she said, beginning to tear up, “and you don’t get these opportunities all the time. So I want it for them. This could be so life-changing for so many of them.”

A moment that seemed impossible six months ago became reality Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Arizona continued its magical run through the match-play bracket and knocked off top-ranked Alabama to capture its third NCAA title, with junior Haley Moore – who first rose to fame by making the cut at an LPGA major as a 16-year-old – rolling in a 4-footer to earn the clinching point in extra holes.

All throughout nationals Arizona was fueled by momentum and adrenaline, but this was no Cinderella squad. The Wildcats were ranked ninth in the country. They won twice this spring. They had four medalists. They were one of the longest-hitting teams in the country.

But even before a miracle end to NCAA stroke play, Arizona needed some help just to get here.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, texted Ianello that she was turning pro. It may have been a gift to her parents, for their years of sacrifice, but it was a lump of coal in Ianello’s stocking.

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “It was devastating.”

Even more bad news arrived a few weeks later, when junior Gigi Stoll told Ianello that she was unhappy, homesick and wanted to return to Portland, Ore. Just like that, a promising season had gone off the rails.

Ianello offered her a full release, but Stoll looked around, found no other suitors and decided to remain with the team – as long as she signed a contract of expected behavior.

“It was the most exhausting two months of my life,” Ianello said. “We care so much about these freakin’ girls, and we’re like, Come on, this is just a small, little picture of your life, so you don’t realize what you’re possibly giving up. It’s so hard to see that sometimes.”

Stoll eventually bought in, but the rest of the team was blindsided by Quihuis’ decision.

“We became even more motivated to prove we were a great team,” said junior Bianca Pagdanganan.

It also helped that Yu-Sang Hou joined the squad in January. The morale immediately improved, not least because the players now could poke fun at Hou; on her fourth day on campus she nearly burned down the dorm when she forgot to add water to her mac-and-cheese.

Early on Ianello and assistant Derek Radley organized a team retreat at a hotel in Tucson. There the players created Oprah-inspired vision boards and completed exercises blindfolded and delivered 60-second speeches to break down barriers. At the end of the session, they created T-shirts that they donned all spring. They splashed “The Great Eight” on the front, put the state of Arizona and each player’s country of origin on the sleeves, and on the back printed their names and a slogan: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“I can’t think of anything else that better embodies this team,” Radley said.

This spring, they rallied together and finished no worse than fourth in a tournament. Through three rounds of stroke play here at the NCAA Championship, they used their distance advantage and sat third in the standings. Then they shot 17 over par in the final round, tumbling outside the top-8 cut line.

They were down to their final chance on the 72nd hole, needing an eagle to tie, as Pagdanganan lined up her 30-footer. She dramatically drained the putt, then gathered her teammates on the range.

“This means we were meant to be in the top 8,” she said. Less than an hour later, they beat Baylor in the team playoff to earn the last match-play berth.

Ianello was so amped up from the frenetic finish that she slept only three hours on Monday night, but they continued to roll and knocked off top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals, beating a pair of Player of the Year contenders, Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, in the process. In the afternoon semifinals, they jumped all over Stanford and won easily.

It was a cute story, the last team into the match-play field reaching the final match, but a stiffer challenge awaited the Wildcats Wednesday.

Alabama was the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide were a whopping 110 under par for the season, boasting three first-team All-Americans who were so dominant in their first two matches that they trailed for only two of the 99 holes they played.

Ianello already seemed to be bracing for the result on the eve of the final match.

“Win or lose,” she said, “this has been a hell of a ride.”

But their wild ride continued Wednesday, as Hou won four holes in a row to start the back nine and defeat Alabama’s best player, Lauren Stephenson, who had the best single-season scoring average (69.5) in Division I history.

Then sophomore Sandra Nordaas – the main beneficiary after Quihuis left at the midway point of the season – held on for a 1-up victory over Angelica Moresco.

And so Arizona’s national-title hopes hinged on the success of its most mercurial player, Moore. In the anchor match against Lakareber Abe, Moore jumped out to a 2-up lead at the turn but lost the first three holes on the back nine.

By the time Radley sped back to help Moore, in the 12th fairway, she was frazzled.

“But seeing me,” Radley said, “I saw a sense of calm wash over her.”

Moore played solidly for the rest of the back nine and took a 1-up lead into the home hole. She didn’t flinch when Abe hit one of the shots of the entire championship – a smoked 3-wood to 12 feet to set up a two-putt birdie and force extras – and then gave herself 4 feet for the win on the first playoff hole. She sank the putt and within seconds was mobbed by her teammates.

In the giddy aftermath, Ianello could barely speak. She wandered around the green in a daze, looking for someone, anyone, to hug.

The most trying year of her career had somehow ended in a title.

“At some moments, it felt impossible,” she said. “But I underestimated these young women a little bit.”

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Pac-12 continues to dominate women's golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 3:04 am

Arizona's national women's golf championship marked the fourth consecutive year in‌ which the women's Division I national title was won by a Pac-12 Conference team. All four championships were won by different schools (Stanford, 2015; Washington, 2016; Arizona State, 2017; Arizona, 2018). The Pac-12 is the only conference to win four straight golf championships (men or women) with four different schools.

Here are some other statistical notes from the just-concluded NCAA Div. I Women's Golf Championship:

• This is the second time that Arizona has won the national title the year after rival Arizona State won it. The last time was 1996.

• Arizona now has three women's golf national championships. The previous two came in 1996 and 2000.

• Arizona is only the sixth school to win three or more Div. I women's golf championships, joining Arizona State (8), Duke (6), San Jose State (3), UCLA (3) and USC (3).

• Arizona's Haley Moore, who earned the clinching point on the 19th hole of her match with Alabama's Lakareber Abe, was the only Arizona player to win all three of her matches this week.

• Alabama's Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight also went 3-0. Gillman did not trail in any match.

• Since the match-play format was instituted in 2015, Arizona is the lowest seed (8) to claim the national title. The seeds claiming the national championship were Stanford (4) in 2015; Washington (4) in 2016; and Arizona State (3) in 2017.

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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

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