Heart transplant recipient Compton delighted with Open

Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:23pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Double heart transplant recipient Erik Compton never envisaged contending for a major championship.

But on Sunday, he defied the odds to finish tied for second at the U.S. Open.

“It’s a dream come true. It's huge (to) go from where I was a few years ago,” Compton told reporters.

“I've been on my back twice and I never thought I would ever leave the house. Now I just finished second at the U.S. Open.

“I don't think anybody would have ever thought I would do that, not even myself. So you can't ever write yourself off, you just can't give up.”

Compton was the only player to mount even the hint of a challenge to Martin Kaymer in the final round at Pinehurst.

He got within four strokes with a birdie at the eighth hole, but could get no closer as he battled on to finish locked with American Rickie Fowler, eight strokes behind winner Kaymer.

Compton was nine when he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is inflamed and unable to pump blood as hard as it should.   Continued...

Erik Compton of the U.S. hits from the rough on the 11th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina June 15, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith