Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)


Erik Compton's ticket back to the PGA Tour disappears with disastrous 10 during final round

January 23, 2019

Just three days after Adam Long's stunning victory at the PGA Tour's Desert Classic, the golf world was poised for another feel-good story on the Tour. Erik Compton, a double heart transplant recipient, shared the 54-hole lead at the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic and a victory would likely mean a return to the PGA Tour. Instead, one disastrous hole dashed his dreams.

Compton birdied his opening hole during Wednesday's final round, but bogeys on 2, 3 and 6 dropped him to six under. Still, he was tied for second place, three behind playing partner Willy Wilcox when they reached the par-5 eighth. In blustery conditions, Compton blew his drive left into high bushes. His ball was found, but as he was heard muttering minutes later, that fact didn't wind up helping him.

After taking a drop in the sand, Compton opted to hit a hybrid after double checking with his caddie, who confirmed he believed it was the right club instead of laying up with an iron. But Compton slipped on his downswing and hooked another golf ball out of play. Dropping in the same spot, Compton took another whack, but this time had no clue where his ball wound up. Eventually, he called a rules official over and could be heard on the Golf Channel telecast sounding like a typical weekend hacker. "I'm so confused right now," Compton said. "I've hit so many golf balls I have absolutely no idea what's going on right now."

Poor guy. We wish we could report things got better for Erik, but they didn't. After finding his ball in a bush right in front of him, Compton took another drop, and hit a great shot, his seventh, onto the green. A three-putt added to the damage and resulted in a quintuple-bogey 10, dropping him all the way down to one under and out of contention. By comparison, Wilcox bogeyed the hole and picked up four shots on him. Ouch.

And the carnage didn't stop there. With more bogeys on 9, 10, and 11, Compton fell out of the top 20 on the leader board.

Compton, 39, won the Tour's Mexico Open in 2011. His best PGA Tour finish was a runner-up at the 2014 U.S. Open.

UPDATE: Compton wound up shooting 83 to finish T-25. On a windy day in the Bahamas, there were actually three other scores in the 80s, topped out by Bryan Bigley's 86.

Meanwhile, Rafael Campos shot 70 to become the first Puerto Rican winner in Tour history.