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The Tour Report

January 12 2012

4:39 PM

Compton begins the next step

Live Report Image
Halleran/Getty Images
Erik Compton earned his 2012 TOUR card via his play last year on the Nationwide Tour.

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

HONOLULU -- Erik Compton finally has his PGA TOUR card, and at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday (1 p.m. locally), he will officially kick off his first full season on TOUR.

Considering everything he had to endure to get to the point -- you've probably heard that he's had two heart transplants -- you might think it would make a good book. Or movie.

"There's people that contacted me to do book deals," Compton said, "and when I was younger, people wanted to do a lifetime story."

But Compton said there's one problem -- the ending hasn't been written yet.

"I want to be out here to win at this level," he said, "and I don't think my story is quite done yet. ... It's just a tough story to write because it's still in the process."

Compton said the hype surrounding his return to golf following his second heart transplant in 2008 has slowed down, but he still recognizes he can help increase the importance of donating organs. That's why he's teamed up pharmaceutical company Genentec.

"We are trying to promote more organ donor awareness and trying to get more people to donate organs because there is a shortage," Compton said. "By me playing and being able to share my story, I think people will realize that it really is a real thing and it affects normal people every day."

Obviously, the more success he has this season, the more awareness he can create. For now, though, competing at the highest level of his sport is a good way to start.

"I think the competition is what keeps me from sitting on the couch and listening to my heart," Compton said.

"I talk to a lot of younger kids that have had transplants and you know, sometimes I sound to myself like I'm a little over the top, trying to push them to do something more than they want.

"I don't want to hurt anybody to push more than they have, but sometimes you need a good kick in the butt to be like, hey, I can be more than just an average person."

It's doubtful anybody will ever accuse Compton of simply being average.

Erik Compton, Russell Knox and Seung-yul Noh will tee off at 6 p.m. ET. Click here to follow them on ShotTracker