Open hopeful Compton cards 68 at Congressional

Erik Compton during the first round of the Quicken Loans National at Congressional.

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BETHESDA, Md. –– Erik Compton finished his Quicken Loans National first round with four consecutive birdies. That meant two things. One, it completed a 68 that put him two strokes off the lead. Two, it left him thinking of an evening restaurant.

"Dinner,” he said, “will taste great.”

Compton missed the cut last week at the Travelers Championship, five days after he tied for second at the U.S. Open. He said his putter somehow got bent between the Open and the Travelers. But he sorted that out when playing in the CVS Charity Classic early this week with help from a tournament host.

Brad Faxon not only bent Compton’s putter back into shape, he advised him with some other putting issues. That helped Thursday.

“The ball came rolling off beautifully,” the double-heart-transplant recipient said. “That’s what this game is all about–being able to roll in putts. If you’re hitting it well and making putts, the game comes to you.”

Compton is playing a third week in a row because he is trying to qualify for next month’s Open Championship. The leading four non-exempt players who finish in the top 12 here (and next week) will get in. He picked Congressional because it is a U.S. Open-style golf course that he believes favors him.

“This is a great golf course to try to qualify on,” Compton said. “If I don’t, I’m going to take three weeks off and relaly enjoy the (U.S.) Open and all the accomplishments that have been going on and decompress.”

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