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July 29 2010

7:40 PM

Compton recovers from tough start

Erik Compton's round didn't exactly start auspiciously.

champ3 A bit of mud on the ball at the second hole produced a bogey and a three-putt from 43 feet at the next accounted for another. But Compton made nine birdies over his next 15 holes to seize a one-stroke clubhouse lead.

"It was a difficult start," acknowledged Compton, who persevered and fired a 63 that was his low round of the season.

The 30-year-old, who has had two heart transplants, knows a thing or two about perseverance, too.

Compton has found a comfort zone at The Greenbrier this week. He says the Old White sets up like a  course back home in Florida even though you're in the West Virginia mountains among stately Norwegian Spruce trees.

"It's really pretty," Compton said. "You have to have drive it good.  If you do, you can definitely take advantage.  You know, I hit some really close shots, a couple good putts, and just  

"I guess the round just kind of developed like that."

Compton, who is playing in The Greenbrier Classic on a sponsor's exemption, has a little extra motivation this week. A friend, Victor Bilskoog, is caddying for him and Compton is "trying to make as many birdies as I can for him so he can go to q-school."

Bilskoog's brother is a good friend of Compton's and caddied for him when he won in Morocco. Compton wanted to give Victor a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life on TOUR.

"He needs to get ready for q-school," Compton said. "He just turned pro, and every time we play he puts some pressure on me.  I feel like if he's out here, he can see how the guys on the TOUR play.

"Hopefully he can follow in, you know, in somewhat of my footsteps.  I know if I was as strong as him I would probably be a lot better. But it's good for him to see just the type of play, and especially even today, how the round developed.

"You don't need to do anything extra special.  Just get it the green and keep plugging away and save the shots that you can." – Helen Ross

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