1. This is Erik Compton. He’s a professional golfer still seeking his first PGA Tour win, and he’s lucky to be alive today.
2. When Compton was 9 years old, he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, and waited three years for a heart transplant.
3. The transplant transformed his body and Compton struggled with his weight, but he found solace on the golf course.
4. Eventually, Compton would become one of the highest-ranked junior players in the country, and starred at the University of Georgia before turning pro on the Nationwide Tour.
5. Life on the Nationwide Tour was a grind, and in 2008, after 16 years with his second heart, Compton suffered a massive heart attack on the golf course.
6. “I had basically come to grips that golf was over with, and I’d come to grips that I was going to die.”
7. Compton survived a second heart transplant, however, and began a long recovery that led him back to golf in 2010.
8. Compton takes around 30 pills every day. “My situation is always changing, and my medication is always changing, so some weeks are better than others.”
9. He found success during his second stint on the Nationwide Tour, and a win in the 2011 Mexico Open earned Compton a PGA Tour card for the first time in his career.
10. Compton, like many rookies, struggled in his first full season, carding one top-25 finish. He ended up 173rd on the money list, well short of the mark needed to secure a member card for 2013.
11. To retain a place on the PGA Tour, Compton had to return to PGA Qualifying School, a six-round gauntlet of a tournament. Given Compton’s condition, it would be a battle just to finish the 108 holes, let alone play well enough to qualify.
12. But yesterday, Compton finished the sixth round of the final qualifying stage at 22-under par. Meaning that the golfer on his third heart who thought he had lost his golf dream more times than you can count would get to go back on the Pro tour.
13. Erik Compton: The badass that wouldn’t let two bum hearts stop him.
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