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June 26, 2014

Erik Compton


Q. Finishing up with four birdies, how great of a feeling is that?
ERIK COMPTON: Great feeling. I started on 10. The course is playing soft but long. Starting the day before I went out, I looked at the pin sheet and knew I just need to be patient and then some birdies came to me later in the round. Had some holes that were downwind we could take advantage of, and you know, I mean, four birdies in a row, dinner will taste great. I can't argue with that. It's nice to feel good. I came here from the CVS Pro-Am. I had a great time and it was a chance for me to decompress after the U.S. Open. Even though it was a competitive tournament, my partner was Brad Faxon. He was able to help me out with some putting issues that I had. Somehow my putter got bent between the Open and the Travelers Championship, and so he fixed my putter and I rolled some balls in today.

Q. Did he fix your putter or give you the mentality?
ERIK COMPTON: No, he fixed it.

Q. Are you playing more now than you probably intended to this season, or has your schedule not changed at all?
ERIK COMPTON: No, I mean, this is my third in a row, and you know, I might have changed the schedule around a little bit differently had I already been in the British Open. But I want to play in the British Open, and this is a great golf course to try to qualify on. And then if I don't, I'm going to take three weeks off and really enjoy the Open and all the accomplishments that have been going on and decompress. But if not, just continue the solid play and hopefully this weekend I can get the job done. But I don't think my schedule is any different than it has been in years past. It just seems that you're seeing more of me; in years past you never saw me.

Q. How much did you learn from that Open experience?
ERIK COMPTON: I think I learned a lot about what I need to do to prepare for a major championship, and you know, I'll learn next time about how to prepare, maybe resting after the championship, because it hurt me at the Travelers. But we had such a great time, and to get back to celebrate and help out a lot of people -- but I learned it was four days of tough golf. Same thing here this week. It's tough and it's a U.S. Open-style golf course. You have to hit the fairway and you have to pick and choose your battles. These pin placements are very difficult. I almost had to hit driver into a par 3 today. It's not an easy golf course.

Q. I think a lot of coverage of that Open was revolving around you and the heart surgery. Was that for to you look back on? Did you look back at that stuff, the television or media coverage, or did you look back --
ERIK COMPTON: What heart surgery are you talking about? I live with this. This is my story and I've been well prepared to have a big event like that and to share my story. You know, I know how to handle it, and I still haven't been able to sit back and watch and watch some of the shots I hit. Like I said, just saw my wife and daughter for the first time last night, so we are still trying to catch up on not seeing each other and enjoying the moment. I think being able to see them, I was able to regroup and be comfortable on the golf course. I know I was messing around out there with Andres Romero. We were out there talking about the soccer. You have to really decompress, so I feel like I'm close to that after the Open Championship.

Q. Is it hard that that story follows you everywhere and people know you for that?
ERIK COMPTON: I mean, if I had 18 birdies today, it would probably be the first question that I got. I'm used to it. I know that my heart is always going to be the story, but I think it will be a little less this week, and I think the story line is me trying to get into the British Open. I embrace the story, and we've done so much. This week is a time for me to really focus on getting the job done and try to get in the British Open. Last week we had a chance to visit hospitals and do a bunch of stuff. I pick and choose my moments to go there, but it's always with me no matter what.

Q. There's an old adage, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. You were 1-over for four holes and then birdie, birdie, birdie. What was the key to that?
ERIK COMPTON: I started on 10. This morning the golf course played difficult. It was very long and I knew starting the day, I looked at the pin sheet and it was tucked pins. I was kind of happy I was 1-over, still a great score. But to finish off with four birdies in a row will make dinner taste well.

Q. After the Open, has your expectation level elevated?
ERIK COMPTON: Yeah, I'd like to think that my game, when I'm healthy and I'm feeling strong, my game is good enough to compete out here. You know, after the Open, I did a lot of stuff going on and I was pretty tired. But actually played the CVS and got a lot of good stuff out of it. Faxon helped me out with my putting. Somehow between the Open and the Travelers, my putter got bent. So we fixed the putter and the ball came rolling off beautifully. That's what this game is all about is being able to roll in putts. If you're hitting it well and you're making the putts, the game comes to you.

Q. First round of 3-under par 68.
ERIK COMPTON: Yeah, I drove the ball extremely well today. I played in the CVS last week, basically yesterday, so I didn't get a practice round. But we did stuff and Faxon gave me some putting tips on my equipment, because my equipment was way off on the putter. Now the ball is rolling beautifully off the putter, and I made some nice putts and looking forward to the week, tomorrow, and end up playing well on the weekend.

Q. Playing well just a few weeks ago, you had the fantastic U.S. Open at the Pinehurst. Then you go to The travelers and CVS. How are we doing energy-wise?
ERIK COMPTON: I'm feeling good now. My wife and daughter came out last night, so I was able to spend some time with them and celebrate and I feel like I've been able to regroup. The Travelers was more of a week to celebrate with Donate Life, and we did a lot of media stuff. So I wasn't ready to play golf, but this week, championship golf course and with Tiger playing this week, you don't want to miss this tournament.

Q. Now, you're such an inspiration to many, and obviously you give a lot of life lessons to people. Tell me the lesson you learned about golfing under the highest of pressures at the U.S. Open?
ERIK COMPTON: I learned a lot about myself, but I always knew that I was a tough competitor and that I had four solid rounds in me under extreme conditions. When you're driving the ball well in an Open and you're hitting your irons flush, you're going to have a good weekend. This is the same kind of similar U.S. Open-style. I'm sure there's a lot of high scores today. If you drive the ball in the fairway, it's playable. But if you're not in the fairway, it's very difficult to make pars, and you're facing even some doubles out here. So if I drive the ball well, I feel like I have a good chance to win golf tournaments.

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