Nothing personifies the difference more than the story of US Open golfer Erik Compton!
The attitude and perseverance that has taken him to the highest reaches of professional golf this weekend at the US Open should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who feels that they are facing overwhelming and insurmountable adversity.
If you have a goal nothing should get in the way of trying to achieve it!
Erik Compton is best known throughout the golf world for his two heart transplants, the first one in 1992 and the second in 2008.
A 34-year-old journeyman whose biggest victory is the 2011 Mexican Open on the Web.com Tour, Compton could change the dialogue with a strong finish in the 114th U.S. Open.
He goes into the final round tied for second place after shooting a 67 on Saturday — one of just two sub-par rounds. He and Rickie Fowler trail leader Martin Kaymer by five shots.
“I have nothing to lose,” Compton said. “Nobody expects me to do anything. I think everybody in the top 10 has won a tournament or won a major, and if I go out and shoot 90, I don’t think anybody will be surprised.
“But if I shoot 67 again, you may be surprised. Tomorrow is just another day of golf, and it’s all about execution.”
Compton was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy when he was 9 and underwent his first heart transplant when he was 12. He suffered a heart attack in 2007 and underwent a second transplant the next year.
In 2009, Compton received the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to a golfer who has stayed active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness.
On Saturday, he made five birdies and an eagle to pass 12 players and move into a tie for second.
“I think my attitude suits a U.S. Open-style course, because I don’t ever give up,” Compton said. “I’m extremely hard on myself, but I tend to forget the shots I hit bad and move on to the next hole.”
Earlier in the week, Compton played a practice round with major champions Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel and joked with them that he had won the Mexican Open.
“But for people who are hearing my name for the first time maybe at a major championship…I’ve played a lot of golf in my life,” Compton said. “When I get on the tee, I don’t really pay attention to what’s going on. You’re just trying to hit the golf ball.”
Rory McIlroy is among those who have taken note of what Compton is doing.
“It’s incredible, just to be playing in a U.S. Open given everything Erik’s went through,” McIlroy said. “I’ve gotten to know him pretty well over the last few years. He’s just a really incredible guy, upbeat and obviously very talented.
“Given everything Erik’s gone through and continues to go through, it’s really phenomenal.” (Source)
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