Erik Compton finds himself in the penultimate group in the final round of the 2014 U.S. Open, just his second appearance in the national championship.
The two-time heart transplant recipient has a compelling story to tell of triumph over medical trauma, grit, determination and appreciation for life.
Here's a brief look at Compton's journey to the tee at Pinehurst No. 2:
Nov. 11, 1979: Compton was born in Miami, Fla.
1988: Compton was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is inflamed and unable to pump as hard as it should
1992: Compton undergoes his first heart transplant
2001: Compton is a member of the winning Walker Cup and Palmer Cup teams, then turned pro after a run at the University or Georgia
2002: Compton qualified for the Nationwide Tour (now Web.com Tour). He made the cut in just three of 15 starts, forcing him to play the Canadian Tour from 2003-04.
2007: Compton is driving in Florida and begins to feel his heart failing. He somehow drives himself to a medical facility emergency room. He arrived spitting up blood, feeling almost certain he would die. Compton called his parents, telling them he believed he was saying goodbye for the final time.
Early 2008: Compton received his second heart transplant, spending over a month in the intensive care unit recovering.
Later 2008: Just five months after his heart transplant, Compton returned to competition at Disney World, making the cut.
April 2009: Compton received the Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, awarded to a player who has overcome disability to remain active in the sport.
June 2010: Erik Compton competed in the U.S. Open 36-hole sectional qualifier in Memphis, Tenn. On the third playoff hole, Compton made par and earned a berth into the Open at Pebble Beach. He missed the cut.
Late 2010: Compton made his way to the final stage of PGA Tour Q-school, finishing 100th and earning conditional Nationwide Tour status.
March 2011: Compton won the Mexico Open on the Nationwide Tour, ultimately finishing 13th on the tour money list to earn a PGA Tour card.
2012: Compton made 16 of 26 cuts on the PGA Tour, finishing 163rd on the money list and being forced to return to Q-school. Compton finished seventh in the finals, regaining his PGA Tour status.
2013: Compton made the cut in 13 of 24 events, finishing 117th in FedEx Cup points to retain his status. He finished T-4 at the Honda Classic for his best PGA Tour finish to date.
THAT WAS FUN, RIGHT?!
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