There are so many story lines out there about the 2010 US Open. Who will I take? Not sure yet, but I do know who I will be cheering for: Erik Compton.

A member of the 2001 Walker Cup team and winning Palmer Cup team, Eirk Compton has a condition known to the medical world as viral cardiomyopathy. In a nut shell, Compton has an inflamed heart muscle so his heart is unable to pump as hard as it should.  He’s already been through two heart transplants. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s lived through two heart transplants surgeries. This guy is a modern day medical miracle. The first procedure took place in 1992 at the young age of 12 and proved to be successful.

Then in late 2007, Compton was driving along Florida turnpike and felt his heart failing. He knew he had to do something or he was going to die. He somehow managed to fight the pain and fear and sped to an emergency room. As he walked in the door his heart was starting to give out and he started to spew up blood. The future was unclear and Compton thought it all could be over. He called his parents to tell them good bye.

The second of his two heart transplant surgeries was in 2008. Compton spent over 30 days in the intensive care unit, fearing his playing days were through. But, get this: five months later Compton made the cut at a tournament at Disney. He’s been through over 1000 biopsies on top of the two transplant surgeries and he’s still chasing that little white ball along the tree lined grassy areas.

Compton managed to make the cut a few weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament but shot a final round 82. He came in the very last place. Erik then decided not pull a Nathan Green and participated in the US Open qualifier the next day. He walked 39 holes over the next few days which can’t be easy with your second new heart. On the third playoff hole, Compton made par and earned the final qualifying spot. Compton has been in qualifying tournaments in the past, but was never able to break through with consecutive days of strong play.

Here we are, two years removed from his second heart transplant surgery and Erik Compton has finally qualified for his first major. It just so happens to be at Pebble Beach at the 2010 US Open. To say Compton is an unknown may be a big of an understatement. His PGA TOUR profile page says

“Player did not meet the minimum number of rounds requirement to be officially ranked. The rank indicated is the position the player would be ranked if the minimum had been met.”

And there is no picture to go with the profile, but when you check the final leaderboard Monday, look for Erik Compton. He tees off Thursday at 2:31 PDT.

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