Although he struggled on Thursday in his first round at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, professional golfer Erik Compton has been through a helluva lot worse than shooting a 77. When he was nine, Compton was told he had an illness called viral cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is inflamed and unable to pump as hard as it should.
He has been two heart transplants since then. His first heart transplant came in 1992, when Compton was 12. Compton had his second transplant and third heart in 2008, which was again a successful surgery. For this, Compton was given the Ben Hogan Award at Augusta, Georgia during The Masters in April 2009.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Compton turned professional in 2001. He played on the Nationwide Tour in 2002 and again from 2005 to 2007. He played on the Canadian Tour in 2003 and 2004. In 2004, he won twice on the Canadian Tour and also won the Order of Merit title. Compton has also played the mini-tours, winning a few events on the NGA Hooters Tour. He has played a few select events on PGA Tour in the past few years including the 2008 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, where he received a sponsor’s exemption.
Click here to read his incredible story.