By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- For his first 17 holes in Friday's second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Tom Gillis was having the round of his life.
His final hole didn't end the way he hoped, but Gillis still walked off the course with a 7-under 63, tying his career low round on the PGA TOUR.
That left the 44-year-old Gillis at 8 under through two rounds and puts him in position to make a weekend charge at his first TOUR win.
Gillis had the hottest round of any player for most of Friday's morning wave. Starting his round off the 10th tee, Gillis was a bogey-free 8 under through 17 holes.
His approach shot on his final hole, the par-4 ninth, landed 9 feet, 1 inch from the pin. But instead of a possible birdie and a 61, Gillis three-putted for 63.
His only other 63 came at The Greenbrier Classic in 2010. That's also the last time Erik Compton shot 63 ... until he matched that on Friday.
And just like with Gillis, Compton played terrific for most of his round until a late stumble. He was 7 under through his first 16 holes, and at the par-4 third, he rolled in a putt from 55 feet -- the longest of his TOUR career.
He bogeyed the par-4 eighth before bouncing back with a birdie at the ninth.
His 63 leaves him at 5 under for the tournament.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Erik Compton's round started out well as he rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 10th hole.
But Compton didn't make another birdie on Thursday, and he turned a par into a double bogey when he called a penalty on himself at the seventh hole. He ended up with a round of 74 -- and a clear conscience as a result.
The issue arose when Compton hit his drive into the water at the par 5, then took his drop and found the green with his third. When he got to his ball, Compton realized that he had hit a 2011 Pro V1x rather than the 2013 model with which he'd started the round.
Since the balls are slightly different, Compton realized he was in violation of the one-ball condition under Rule 33-1 and assessed the penalty on himself. That condition states the balls a player uses must be of the same brand and model as detailed by a single entry on the current list of conforming balls.
The penalty for the infraction is two strokes. So Compton made a 7 on the par 5.
PGA TOUR player and double heart transplant recipient Erik Compton will be answering fan questions today in our weekly Google+ Hangout video chat at 3 p.m. ET.
If you have a question for Erik, leave it in the comments below and we'll ask him the best ones during the Hangout. You can stream the chat live here on the TOUR Report at 3 to hear Erik's answers in person.
To see our previous Hangouts with Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker and others, visit our Hangouts Playlist on YouTube.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The story of Erik Compton, the double heart transplant recipient, has been well-documeneted.
Even he's ready to move on. "It's hard for me to get too sentimental about it, because I've turned the corner on my story," Compton said. "I really want to be one of the top 50 players in the world, and I have to the game to do it."
Sunday was a nice step in that direction. Compton shot even-par 70 to finish in a tie for fourth at The Honda Classic, his best career finish on the PGA TOUR.
"I've been trying to do this for a long time," said Compton, who also tied for 15th in San Diego earlier this season.
About the only thing that didn't go right for Compton was the par-5 18th, where his second shot had mud on the ball and consequently sliced into the water. He went on to make 6.
"It's going to bother me for a little bit," Compton said. "But this year, I've put aside some goals and obviously I've been through a lot in my life but I really want to win out here."
Prior to the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic Duwayne Escobedo from the US Sports Academy presents Erik Compton with the Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Erik Compton was talking to Tommy Gainey on the driving range at Sea Island a couple of weeks ago, both commiserating on what up until that point had been a relatively disappointing season for each.
The next day Gainey shot 60 to win for the first time in his career.
“All of a sudden [he] turns a year like I've had into an extraordinary year with a win,” Compton said.
Now Compton is hoping to have a similar turnaround. He is 163rd on the money list coming into the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic and needs to finish in the top three to climb inside the top 125.
It’s a much different position than he was in a year ago at this time.
Compton opened his 2011 season with two fourth-place finishes in his first three starts on the Web.com Tour. Two months later, he won, guaranteeing himself a spot in the top 25 on the money list and a PGA TOUR card for this year.
Only once this season, however, has Compton even finished in the top 25 -- a tie for 13th at the John Deere Classic was his best result. He’s also missed eight cuts and at times the double heart transplant recipient has been physically worn down.
“Last season I was extremely confident,” he said. “In my mind I felt like I'd accomplished that I was going to get my card. Out here it's very easy if you don't get off to a good start to sort to fall in the limbo of just barely making the cut."
Compton has made the cut in each of his last three starts, but none of his finishes were in the top 50.
“I don't feel like I've played that much different than I did last year, although it seemed like last year when I needed to make a birdie, I made them,” Compton said. “I haven't had a great week. I haven't had a week where I feel like on the weekend the heart's racing and I'm in contention. So hey, you win one tournament and miss 20 cuts in a row, is that a great year?”
If he does, it could be.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012
1 p.m. ET: Jonas Blixt
1:30 p.m. ET: Jeff Maggert
Wed., Nov. 7, 2012
12:30 p.m. ET: Gary Christian
12:45 p.m. ET: Tommy Gainey
1 p.m. ET: Erik Compton
This week’s episode of HBO’s Real Sports will have a feature on Erik Compton. Award-winning journalist Frank Deford recently sat down with Compton, the first-year PGA TOUR pro who has undergone two heart transplants.
The show will debut Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET.
Here’s a preview video of the Compton feature.
Frank Deford reconnects with Erik Compton during his first season on the PGA TOUR, and learns about the numerous hurdles he has overcome. Real Sports debuts Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.