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June 15, 2014

Erik Compton


Q. Talk about what this result means to you.
ERIK COMPTON: Huge. I hit the ball really well this week. Today I hit the ball extremely well. I didn't have my best stuff on the greens. I was watching the leaderboard, seeing what some of the guys were doing. I knew we were playing for second. I had my opportunities to put a little heat on him and I got it to 4-under, then I made a bogey. But all in all, finishing second, the up-and-down I made on 18, just makes the whole week really, really sweet.

Q. What were the emotions that hit you when you made the putt on 18?
ERIK COMPTON: The crowd was so great. On every hole, from the tee box to the putting green, people were cheering for me and I definitely felt the love and the support from the crowd. Seemed like people really got around my story. And for me to be here and to do this at such a high level is just as good of a feeling as winning a golf tournament. So it's just a great feeling and I can't wait to get back into another Major.

Q. There's a lot of pressure out there that everybody's feeling. With what you've been through in your life is the pressure maybe a little bit less? Do you feel like you've been through a lot bigger than a golf tournament? Do you kind of feel that?
ERIK COMPTON: It's a different kind of pressure. It's exciting pressure. But I'm relieved to be done and I'm sure everybody's relieved to be off the golf course. Because you want to finish strong. And that's all I kept telling myself when I got to 14, 15, 16, just finish the race and get the ball in the hole. It's a scary golf course, every hole is scary, and I felt like I did a great job of avoiding a disaster this week. No double bogeys. I threw a lot of birdies at a very difficult golf course.

Q. When you say people rallied around your story, what does that mean to you to know that people on this course rallied around you and what you were doing out there?
ERIK COMPTON: I think it's very exciting to play golf around people that are supporting you. I've never had that feeling where people have -- so many people were cheering my name and it was just a really great week for me.

Q. You said at sectionals after you qualified for the U.S. Open that your goal at the start of the year was to play more Majors. Now you're the Masters for next year and who knows what else, how significant is that for you?
ERIK COMPTON: It's huge. I mean, I go from where I was a few years ago, and now I'm able to play in Major Championships. And I think I showed the world today that I'm capable of playing good golf under extreme pressure and heat, and I think I showed myself. And I think when I go back and assess what I did this week, I think there's still some room for improvement and maybe I scared myself into thinking that I can actually play this game.

Q. There are people out there who have medical challenges and may see the limits on themselves, but a story such as yours would surely inspire people like that. Do you have a sense that perhaps you have inspired others to maybe strive for more who have medical challenges?
ERIK COMPTON: You can't ever give up. I mean, we all have adversity in our lives, some are different than others. Some are more Major. The up-and-down I made on 18 is an example of never giving up. I hit the world's worst shot into the green and then got up-and-down. So when you have disabilities or you have health issues, some days are really bad and then you got to try to make the best of it the next day and wake up and move your body. And I'm a perfect example of that. 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, which is -- 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.

Q. How important was it for you, the result, to show that -- to get people to think of you as a golfer, as opposed to a double heart transplant recipient golfer?
ERIK COMPTON: I think it's -- my mom summed it up pretty well the other night. She said Erik's a golfer with two transplants, not a transplant recipient that plays golf. So I don't know really how to answer the question, other than that I'm just so thrilled to be here and playing at this level and I think I finally had that feeling of putting myself on the map. And now I just got to keep going out and trying my best. But I don't have anything to really prove to anybody anymore. If I never played golf again for the rest of my life, I think that I have made my mark in this game.

Q. Getting into the Masters and what that means to you, talk about that.
ERIK COMPTON: It's a dream come true. To be here, standing here and in 38 holes of a playoff, two extra holes and a playoff, and to finish second and I'm in contention with guys like Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose, and I mean my name is in there, it's pretty neat. I won't really know the significance of what I've accomplished until I sit back and maybe watch the tapes and enjoy it. This guy, he and I, we're going to fish off for the medal. (Laughter.)

Q. Erik, when you fist pump Rickie here on the driving range out to the course, what did you say? Or do you remember?
ERIK COMPTON: When I got my transplant, I knew Rickie through Jim McLean and John McLean. And I actually called him to go up and play at the Bear's Club, and he invited me. And when I drove up and saw him, he was like a celebrity in my eyes because of what he accomplished. Now he's looking at me like that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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