By Derek Evers
It's been an amazing year for golf; with Tiger's return to the winner's circle, Ernie hoisting the Claret Jug, and no less than a dozen of this year's PGA Tour winners coming from behind in the final round, it would be easy to call 2012 'The Year of the Comeback.' Yet as exciting as it's been on the course, the most remarkable comeback story on the Tour easily belongs to Erik Compton.
If you're not familiar with Compton's story, you should get so. The 32-year-old PGA Tour pro was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy at the age of nine, starting him on a journey that's included two heart transplants. What makes his story remarkable -- aside from the fact he's still alive and well 20 years after receiving his first donated heart -- is that Compton not only returned to competition a mere five months after his second successful transplant, he eventually secured his 2012 PGA Tour card with a victory at the Nationwide Tour's 2011 Mexico Open. It's a story that's larger than golf and sports itself. The kind that seems almost too good to be true. Too 'made for TV.'
Last week, the new season of 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel' premiered with a feature on Compton. And though Gumbel himself wasn't on hand, it gave a great behind-the-scenes look at Compton's first full season on the PGA Tour, with exclusive access and interviews along the way. It's not only worth watching to learn more about the trials and tribulations of Compton's health, but that of a touring pro.
Obviously HBO doesn't have the full video available for non-subscribers, but this promo clip compels as much as it teases. Seriously, could they have cut it at a more suspenseful moment? Wait for it...