Wild ride earns Compton U.S. Open berth

Erik Compton at the 2010 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.


Complete U.S. Open sectional qualifying results



Sunday was not very kind to Erik Compton and the disappointment was a clear to see. After making the cut on the number Friday at The Memorial, Compton shot 72-82 on the weekend to finish last, 29 shots behind winner Justin Rose.

As Compton signed autographs Sunday at Muirfield Village, he questioned whether he would play the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier in at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club on Monday.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a big battle for me to do 36 holes. To be good at golf you have to have energy,” Compton said Sunday. “And obviously, I didn’t and it was disappointing because I’ve been working really hard to overcome that and I can’t.”

Compton knows his game is good enough to compete at the highest level, but when he has to play four straight days, he struggles to keep the energy level up.

“I’ve overcome so much,” Compton said. “But it’s just depressing not to be able to do what you want to do, you know? And so I have think about whether it’s beneficial for me it even try (to qualify for the U.S. Open). I don’t want to hurt myself tomorrow.”

I fully expected Compton not make the trip to Springfield. I expected him to go home and think about his future.

I guess I didn’t understand what Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient, is truly made of.

Compton made it to Springfield on Monday and posted a 1-under 69 over the first 18 holes of qualifying, good enough to get him in contention. He followed with 66, then survived a three-for-two playoff to qualify for the U.S. Open next week at Pebble Beach.

Compton’s caddie, Ron Levin, left after 12 holes of the afternoon round to catch a flight to Memphis for the St. Jude Classic so he could caddie for his full-time player Todd Hamilton. According to Levin, Compton found a spectator to carry his bag for the remaining holes.

The U.S. Open will be Compton’s first major championship. Levin said he would be on the bag at Pebble Beach.

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