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.