2004: Compton cruises to NGA title

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For someone without a PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour card Erik Compton has had little trouble keeping busy this season.

And, following a flawless final nine March 28 at the Landings-NGA/Hooters Pro Classic, he’s enjoying no shortage of success.

Compton – who missed advancing to the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School by five strokes last year and has split his time in 2004 between the PGA Tour, Canadian and NGA/Hooters tours – needed 63 holes last week at Landings Golf Club in Warner Robins, Ga., to overtake Australia’s Andrew Tschudin. Once in the lead, the former University of Georgia standout quickly pulled away for a four-stroke victory.

Compton, 24, shot a final-round 67 for a 14-under 274 total while Tschudin, who was tied with Compton with 10 holes to play, closed with 69.

“I feel stronger and more ready to play this year, and my confidence is good,” said Compton, who tied for 56th at last month’s Ford Championship at Doral.

Compton grabbed the lead with a snaking 30-footer for birdie at Landings’ 10th hole and never looked back. He added birdies at Nos. 11, 12 and 17 to cap his bogey-free back nine.

Compton credited his recent success to swing changes he has been working on with Jim McLean and Charlie Deluca.

“They got me to move my ball position a little in my swing, and it’s starting to feel more comfortable,” said Compton, who opened with rounds of 67-69-71 on his way to the $22,000 payday.

Compton plans to continue his tour-hopping ways with a focus on PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour Monday qualifiers.

“Hopefully this will carry over to the BellSouth (Classic Monday qualifier March 29 near Atlanta),” Compton said.

Joey Maxon was third at 279 while Bubba Dickerson, winner of last month’s Michelob Ultra Classic, finished tied for 10th. It was the former U.S. Amateur champion’s third top-10 finish this season.

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