Last-minute change works well for Compton
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Erik Compton is a compelling golfer.
After the 30-year-old Compton advanced through a recent sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open, my colleague Alex Miceli wrote movingly about Compton’s journey to his first-ever major championship – this week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
After playing the Pebble Beach layout Monday with Nick Watney and Ben Crane (with instructors Jim McLean and Butch Harmon in tow), Compton appeared in the media tent to answer questions.
Asked about rebounding from a second heart transplant at the age of 27, this was his response:
“But in the back of your mind you’re always saying ‘You know, I’ve always lived, I’m a dreamer,’ so I have dreamed that I could get another heart and I could come back out and play. And I think a lot of my success off the golf course has come from my dad ... when I was sick in the hospital, (he) was reading Golfweek to me and had a vision of me playing golf again.”
Thanks for the plug, Erik. Your story has plenty of resonance and meaning for many people. It’s a story that writers and broadcasters will continue to tell.
Here’s another story, though, that most people haven’t heard.
Physically and mentally worn out, Compton shot 82 in the final round of this year’s Memorial event. The 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier was scheduled the next day.
Compton thought of withdrawing, but instead forced himself to the practice range Sunday afternoon. By the time he finished practicing, it was 9:30 p.m.
Thanks to clubmaker Joe Wisler at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, Compton had a new set of irons at the end of that long Sunday. All his irons were switched from True Temper Dynamic Golf S300 shafts to stiffer Dynamic Golf X100 shafts.
The iron heads remained the same, a split set of Titleist 710 CB (3-5) and 710 MB (6-pitching wedge).
“He really worked hard to get them right, and I want to thank him,” Compton said. “He really helped me.”