fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Compton among early leaders at Sea Island

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Erik Compton is happy with where he is in golf, and he’s not referring to his 5-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the McGladrey Classic.

A return to Sea Island provides an occasion to take stock of how far he has come in the last 13 years, and what Compton refers to as the “hurdles” he didn’t anticipate.

There’s a medical term for these hurdles. It’s called a second heart transplant.

“I’m almost 35 years old. I’ve had a good career in golf, really,” he said. “Even though I’ve had some time off, I’ve been able to support myself and have a good life.”

Compton remarkably earned a PGA Tour card just four years after he drove himself to the hospital while suffering a heart attack, dodging death until he received a second transplant. He now is in his fourth straight season on golf’s toughest circuit, and he has shown steady improvement.

The next step is to win, and Compton has been around long enough not to get overly excited about a good start.

He opened with a pair of birdies in the morning chill on the Seaside Course at Sea Island, dropped only one shot and joined Sea Island resident Brian Harman, Michael Thompson and Will MacKenzie in the lead.

Chesson Hadley was among six players one shot behind. More than half of the field was at par or better on a gentle day for scoring.

“I expect I should win this year. That’s a goal of mine,” Compton said. “It’s always been a goal, but I think every time I get on the course it becomes more of a realistic expectation.”

LPGA: At Hainan Island, China, Jessica Korda birdied five of the first eight holes Thursday and finished with a 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the Blue Bay LPGA.

The 21-year-old American, a two-time winner this season, birdied the first three holes and added birdies on No. 6, 8 and 14 in her bogey-free round in the inaugural event at Jian Lake Blue Bay.

She made a 65-foot par putt on the par-4 10th.

Michelle Wie and Chinese star Shanshan Feng were a stroke back long with American Brittany Lang, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, England’s Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Germany’s Caroline Masson.

Wie tied for fifth last week in South Korea in her first start since withdrawing from Evian in September after reinjuring a stress reaction in her right hand.