Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Compton draws the Day 1 notice

Erik Compton, one back at the Memorial, enjoys playing in Ohio, where the donor of his second heart transplant is from.

Getty Images

Erik Compton, one back at the Memorial, enjoys playing in Ohio, where the donor of his second heart transplant is from.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Erik Compton considers the Memorial Tournament a special week, no matter how he plays, knowing his second heart transplant came from a donor in Ohio.

The opening round was even sweeter with three birdies on the back nine Thursday at Muirfield Village for 5-under 67, leaving him one shot out of the lead after a day that featured a timely rally by Rory McIlroy and a surprising departure by Phil Mickelson.

Scott Stallings was atop the leaderboard and few noticed.

Compton has been an amazing story. He had his first heart transplant at 12, played in the Walker Cup after a solid career at Georgia, nearly died from a heart attack on his way home from the golf course in 2007, had a second transplant in May 2008, and earned his PGA Tour card for the first time last year through the Nationwide Tour.

"It's a great place — for me, it's a special place," Compton said. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my donor. To be able to play here, regardless of whether I play good or bad, it's just always a nice week."

Coming off back-to-back missed cuts that cost him his No. 1 ranking, McIlroy took a quadruple bogey on his third hole, carding a 7, and was 4 over. But he rallied for 71. "I was just like, 'Here we go again,' " McIlroy said. "But I hung in there well."

Tiger Woods finished with double bogey and shot 70.

Mickelson shot 79, his worst score at the Memorial, and withdrew, citing mental fatigue.

He said playing three straight weeks, followed by a trip to Europe for his wife's 40th birthday, took too much out of him and he needed extra rest with the U.S. Open two weeks away.

Playing partner Bubba Watson said constant cellphone pictures taken by fans "took Phil out of his game," but Mickelson danced around that issue.

"I feel like it's the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish," Mickelson said. "And I'm kind of overruling that just a touch, because I'm trying to think big picture on what's the best way for me to get ready for the Open."

Tiger's niece shines: Tiger Woods' niece qualified for next month's U.S. Women's Open. Cheyenne Woods, 21, turned pro in May after graduating from Wake Forest and makes her debut next week at the LPGA Championship. But at the Open qualifier in Sanford, N.C., Woods was co-medalist after posting rounds of 74-72.

Compton draws the Day 1 notice 05/31/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 12:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Why Alex Cobb was out of the game and Alex Colome was in

    Blogs

    Alex Cobb obviously did a really good job pitching the first eight innings for the Rays on Tuesday.

  2. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Maybe this wasn't Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan's best team. It is, however, his first national championship team.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  3. As NCAA investigation continues, Baylor dances around sex-assault scandal

    College

    In 1996, Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University lifted its 151-year-old ban and allowed dancing on its Waco, Texas campus.

  4. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  5. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.