Compton ties for second, finishes with heart of a champion
By Bernie D'Amato under US Open
Never give up. ©USGA/Hunter Martin

Never give up. ©USGA/Hunter Martin.

After making a six-foot downhill par putt on the final hole to finish T2 at the 2014 U.S. Open, Erik Compton said, “You can’t ever give up. I mean, we all have adversity in our lives, some are different than others. Some are more major. The up-and-down I made on 18 is an example of never giving up. I hit the world’s worst shot into the green and then got up-and-down.”

Compton went on to say, “So when you have disabilities or you have health issues, some days are really bad and then you got to try to make the best of it the next day and wake up and move your body. And I’m a perfect example of that. I’ve been on my back twice and I never thought I would ever leave the house. Now I just finished second at the U.S. Open, which is — I don’t think anybody would have ever thought I would do that, not even myself. So you can’t ever write yourself off, you just can’t give up.”

The 34-year-old’s backstory is as impressive as it gets. Compton has had two heart transplants, with the most recent occurring in 2008, and he is in the midst of his third season on the PGA Tour. Doubting yourself is one thing, but never giving up is part of Compton’s inner core. At the U.S. Open, he showed everyone he has world class game by surging into contention with a 67 on Saturday, and finishing in style on Sunday.

Erik said, “I think it’s very exciting to play golf around people that are supporting you. I’ve never had that feeling where people have — so many people were cheering my name and it was just a really great week for me.”

The crowd on the 72nd hole knew Compton made an incredible up-and-down after driving his ball into the native area, then hacking his second shot into a greenside bunker 40-yards from the hole. More importantly, the crowd also knew Compton is a living example of perseverance, willpower, and professionalism.

Compton made it to the U.S. Open through the Columbus Sectional Qualifier. He got into a five-for-three playoff after completing 36 holes, and took the final spot with a par on his 38th hole of the day. With his T2 finish at the Open, he will receive an invitation to the 2015 Masters.

After Compton qualified for the Open in Columbus, he said one of his goals was to play in more major championships. He is achieving his goals, and he will be able to showcase his game on the biggest stages in golf. Compton said, “And I think I showed the world today that I’m capable of playing good golf under extreme pressure and heat, and I think I showed myself.”

–Bernie D’Amato