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Heart transplant recipient in lead

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Erik Compton is a walking billboard for organ donation and sheer determination.

He's also at the top of the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic leaderboard.

Playing on a late sponsor exemption, the 30-year-old two-time heart transplant recipient shot 7-under 63 Thursday to share the first-round lead with rookie Matt Every in the inaugural tournament.

Compton overcame a slow start with nine birdies on the Old White course. "I always feel like if I stick in there and keep trying, something eventually good is going to happen," he said.

George McNeill, Pat Perez and Jeff Overton opened with 64s.

More than half the field is in jeopardy of missing the FedEx Cup playoffs, and others are trying to secure spots in next month's PGA Championship. Jim Furyk, who is fifth in the FedEx Cup points standings and can jump past Ernie Els into the top spot by finishing first or second, had 68.

Women's British Open: Pursuing her third major title, Yani Tseng shot 4-under 68 in the opening round at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, and was tied for the lead with Australian Katherine Hull.

The rising star from Taiwan shot a bogey-free round that included a birdie and an eagle on the two finishing holes.

In a group of four one shot back was Seminole's Brittany Lincicome. She dropped three strokes on the first two holes before playing the rest of her round in 6 under par.

"I putted really well after four-putting the first for double bogey," she said. "Afterwards I hit a lot of really long putts, which is unusual for me, but nice.

"Being a long hitter helped (Thursday) as well, having wedges onto greens instead of mid-irons."

U.S. Senior Open: Bruce Vaughan took advantage of cool morning conditions with 4-under 66 to take a two-shot lead in the first round at Sammamish Wash.

Loren Roberts shot 2-under 68, as did amateur Tim Jackson a year after he led this tournament after two rounds and finished in a tie for 11th. Other favorites were off the leaderboard. Tom Watson shot 70. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin needed a birdie on his final hole for 72. Defending champ Fred Funk shot 76.

Heart transplant recipient in lead 07/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:12pm]
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