Compton shows heart on difficult day at Pinehurst No. 2
By Bernie D'Amato under US Open
Overcoming the odds. ©USGA/Darren Carroll

Overcoming the odds. ©USGA/Darren Carroll.

Erik Compton’s story is one of the great ones in professional golf. He has undergone two heart transplants, with the most recent one occurring in 2008, and is in contention at the 114th U.S. Open. Compton’s third round 67 tied him with Rickie Fowler for second place, five strokes behind Martin Kaymer.

After his round, Compton spoke about keeping his composure, “I felt comfortable today. I think yesterday I was a little more not at ease. The heat was getting to me. But today, I didn’t feel much adrenaline or pressure. I just kind of enjoyed the round. And even when things weren’t going well, I wasn’t getting over anxious.”

Compton needed to stay level-headed because he had an up-and-down round with an eagle, five birdies, and four bogeys. In the end, it added up to a 67, which was one of two under-par rounds on the day (Rickie Fowler, 67).

Compton’s great round is slowly getting him noticed by the gallery, “I’ve been playing kind of under the radar, and I was laughing at my caddie, on the back nine I heard some guys cheering my name.”

He went on to talk about what has led to his success, “But I’ve been playing really very solid this year. And I went back to hitting a little bit more of a bleeder off of the tee. And also with the iron shots, I was hitting them very straight, hitting my targets. I think the first ten holes, I didn’t really miss my target. I made that nice eagle on the 5th hole, hit driver to 4-iron there. And kind of a momentum killer, I missed a short one on 6 that horseshoed back at me. I just kind of laughed it off and made a great birdie on 7. And then to birdie 10, make a bomb on 11, I knew something special was happening.”

Compton’s life story is truly amazing, and it would be great to see him overcome the odds once again on Sunday evening.

2014 U.S. Open leaderboard.

–Bernie D’Amato