Erik Compton is a walking, talking medical miracle


Erik Compton is a walking, talking medical miracle

Len Shapiro

Erik Compton looked tired late Tuesday afternoon. He had just played nine holes in a warm-up round for the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, followed by a little practice and a half-dozen media interviews.

On Wednesday, there was more of the same, as well as a visit to the Washington Hospital Center in the morning to meet with transplant patients and staff members, the better to promote organ and tissue awareness.

Compton is a walking, talking prime example of the sort of medical miracles transplants can accomplish. Hes had two heart transplants, one at the age of 12, the other in 2008 at the age of 28. Now, four years later, he is a full-fledged member of the PGA Tour, playing in his rookie season at age 32.

Im just a regular guy playing golf, he insisted during an interview. But I guess maybe Im not that regular.

He is also a gifted golfer, a man who visualized returning to the game he loves while recovering from his second transplant four years ago, even if most of his doctors told him they didnt think it was possible.

Hes been through more and overcome more than anyone I have ever known, his long-time teacher, Miami-based Jim McLean, told earlier this year. I remember visiting him in his hospital room and the doctors told him he was pretty much through with professional golf. He has already achieved more than anyone could have expected. His comeback, its unreal.

Certainly, its a remarkable story for the former University of Georgia All-American and member of the 2001 Walker Cup team.

In 2008, Compton was playing in a Nationwide Tour event when he duck hooked a drive late in his round and missed the cut. He flew back home to Miami and a few days later was out fishing with friends when he began to suffer intense pain in his shoulder blades. He was taken to the hospital and told hed had a major heart attack, with a blocked artery.

He was soon on a transplant list, eventually receiving the heart of a 26-year-old man who had been killed when his bicycle was hit by a pickup truck. Within a year, Compton was back playing competitive golf again. In 2009, he made two cuts on the PGA Tour playing on sponsors exemptions and in 2010, he played 36 holes in a single day to qualify for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

In 2011, he played in 18 Nationwide Tour events and finished 13th on the money list, earning an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour. His season also included a victory in the Mexican Open when he shot 65 in the final round.

This year, hes played in 15 events and made ten cuts and about 230,000. His main goal now is to keep his card for the 2013 season. A victory would obviously give him a two-year exemption. Without a win, he would have to earn about 700,000 to keep his card for next season.

Despite all those made cuts, his rookie year has been something of a disappointment if only because his best finish has been a tie for 26th in the Honda Classic just up the road from his home in Coral Gables, Fla. Hes shown flashes of brilliance, including a 67 in the first round of the Memorial three weeks ago, but his weekend scoresincluding three straight 75s in that event-- have been a problem all season.

Stamina is always a little bit of a factor, he said, but Ive also made some bad decisions on club selection. Theres also something to be said for playing a course four or five times and getting to know it. As a rookie, its always hard because you really dont know the lay of the land.

You know how you feel when you eat a meal and youre satisfied? I just want to feel that way after a tournament. I havent felt that way this year. My game has been hit and miss, sporadic. Im hoping thats going to change.

Still, Compton is hardly a complainer. He knows hes got to play better to keep his Tour playing privileges, particularly with his short game. He also knows hes a role model for so many others, a responsibility he does not take lightly.

Theres part of me thats chasing to do something that nobody has done, he said earlier in the season. At the end of the day, I dont care if I make a lot of money. I still want to be in my back yard hosing my plants and hosing down the patio and doing the simple things.

I think the talent is there. Theres a lot more to this game than just talent, but I cant wait as much as you can.

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Wizards score key signings in Devin Robinson, Michael Young for summer league

Wizards score key signings in Devin Robinson, Michael Young for summer league

The two most notable additoins to the Wizards' roster for Las Vegas summer league -- Michael Young and Devin Robinson, league sources tell -- were secured late Thursday after the NBA draft ended without them trading or buying in for a pick.

The Wizards traded No. 52 on Wednesday to the New Orleans Pelicans for backup point guard Tim Frazier. They will hold minicamp in Las Vegas rather than Verizon Center before summer league begins at Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV.

Their first game is July 8 vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. They're guaranteed at least five games in the tournament-style format.

Second-year players Sheldon Mac and Daniel Ochefu will be there along with Chris McCullough, who was a late-season addition for the Wizards when he was acquired in a trade for Bojan Bogdanovic.

[RELATED: 5 things to know about Devin Robinson, a PF from Florida]

Robinson (Florida) and Young (Pittsburgh) went undrafted after the 60 selections were made. The Wizards also will bring in Kris Jenkins (Villanova), a D.C. area player who made the game-winning shot to win the 2016 national championship for the Wildcats, Kevin Pangos, Maalik Wayns and Marcus Keene.

Wayns played for the Wizards at summer league previously but he was derailed by a knee injury. 

The signings aren't fully guaranteed deals. But roster spots are open now that the Wizards have moved on from Brandon Jennings and Trey Burke, both being allowed to become free agents.

In the offseason, teams can carry up to 20 players but will have to trim down by the end of training camp when it wraps in October.

[RELATED: Wizards go without pick for 2nd year in a row]

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Orioles are one game shy of setting MLB record for consecutive games allowing five or more runs

Orioles are one game shy of setting MLB record for consecutive games allowing five or more runs

BALTIMORE -- The Cleveland Indians put on another offensive show against a Baltimore Orioles pitching staff that's poised to set a record for extended futility.

Austin Jackson had three hits and three RBIs, Erik Gonzalez homered and the Indians pounded out 13 hits in a 6-3 victory Thursday night.

The Indians won three of four from the Orioles to complete a 7-1 road trip that began with a four-game sweep of Minnesota. Cleveland has scored at least five runs and reached double figures in hits over nine consecutive games, and homered in 11 straight.

"It kind of starts at the top and it trickles its way down to the bottom, from the 1-hole hitter to the 9-hole hitter," Jackson said. "It seemed like everyone was having good at-bats."

Baltimore's struggling pitchers were overmatched against that kind of firepower. The Orioles were outscored 28-10 in the series and have given up at least five runs in 19 straight games, one short of the major-league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.

Starter Wade Miley (3-5) gave up four runs in five-plus innings and Gonzalez hit a solo shot off Richard Bleier in the sixth to make it 5-2 and extend the streak.

"We're going out there and working our tails off trying to work on track," Miley said, "and I think we're moving in the right direction."

Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger (3-3) walked four and hit two batters in five innings, but he only gave up two runs to earn his first win in five starts since May 20.

"That's the ultimate bend but don't break," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

The victory lifted Cleveland a season-high seven games over .500 (39-32) and lengthened its lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central to 2 games.

Seth Smith homered for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 15.

"There's not a single person that has any sympathy for us, and I get it," cleanup hitter Mark Trumbo said.

Baltimore played without manager Buck Showalter, who left the team to attend the birth of his first grandchild. Bench coach John Russell took over as manager.

After Smith put the Orioles ahead with his fourth leadoff homer of the season, Jackson hit an RBI triple and scored on a single by Yan Gomes in the second inning.

Baltimore pulled even in the bottom half when Clevinger hit two batters and walked Jonathan Schoop with the bases loaded .

In the third, Jackson followed a pair of walks with a two-out, two-run single for a 4-2 lead.


Cleveland's Jose Ramirez went 1 for 4, ending his run of successive multihit games at nine -- the team's longest streak since 1936.

Ramirez hasn't had a day off since May 21, so Francona asked him if he wanted to take a break.

"He's like, `Not now,'" Francona said. "I get it, man. I'll just stay out of his way."


Indians: Clevinger was recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game, and RHP Cody Allen was placed on the paternity list.

Orioles: After the game, RHP Gabriel Ynoa was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.


Indians: LF Michael Brantley (sprained ankle) took batting practice Thursday and is expected to do running drills Friday. Francona said Brantley, who is eligible to return Monday, shouldn't need a rehab assignment.

Orioles: RHP Darren O'Day (shoulder) is expected to come off the 10-day disabled list Friday. ... CF Adam Jones was given the night off. It was a preventive measure, because Jones missed time recently with a sore hip and Baltimore's next six games are on artificial turf. ... Closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Delmarva on Thursday. He will pitch again for the Shorebirds on Saturday.


Indians: Trevor Bauer (6-5, 5.54 ERA) makes his team-high 15th start in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Twins.

Orioles: Back in the starting rotation after being exiled to the bullpen, Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 6.25 ERA) helps launch a three-game series on the road against AL East rival Tampa Bay.