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October 23, 2014

Erik Compton


THE MODERATOR:テつ Like to welcome Erik Compton, got to 5‑under today, joining another Bulldog, Brian Harman and Erik Compton on the early wave.テつ Kind of talk about the round and what was going well for you today and then we'll have some questions.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ This morning was a little bit cold, so I warmed up with like three jackets, and I made sure I got warm before I got to the first tee.テつ And first few holes I made a long putt on‑‑ or I made about a 15‑footer, 20‑footer on‑‑ did I start on 10 or 1?テつ Yeah, 1.
And then I made about, I don't know, about a 45‑, 50‑footer on 2.テつ And then I hit it close on 3, which there was a bit of a backup there.テつ I don't know why they had the tee so far back there.
So once I got through those holes, I was feeling pretty good, and I missed a short one on 7 and 8, and then I birdied 9 to shoot 3‑under.テつ The greens were really, really good, strong Bermuda, so I thought that would be a little bit of an adjustment from the last few weeks.テつ But my putting has been very, very strong and when I drive the ball well, I usually putt pretty well.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Okay.テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ Erik, how many SEC tournaments did you play here, and do the guys who did have multiple occasions to play this course in the SEC tournament have any kind of an edge?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I have good memories from here.テつ I remember Chris Haack, who is the coach at Georgia, the last round of the SEC championship, he followed me for every shot, and he basically said, hit it here, because I wasn't disciplined enough with the pin.
I'm a pretty disciplined player now.テつ I think this course has some disasters on it, and I played to the center of the green and made my chances with the putting.テつ And I specifically remember I shot 67 at SEC Championship I think we won and Coach followed me for every shot.

Q.テつ What year was that?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ 2000, I think.

Q.テつ And does that give guys who have played here an edge in any way on this course?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Well, I can't speak for them.テつ I mean I know I've had good memories from playing here the last few years that I have played this course.テつ It seems like I have been frustrated on the greens, but I think the greens were so good, they were twice as fast as I remember in the past, so a lot of the grain was removed, and you know, I felt like I was stroking‑‑ I've been stroking the ball very well.テつ So that makes for a good combination when you're seeing the ball well, when you're putting well.

Q.テつ How would you assess your progression from when you first got your TOUR card to where you are now?テつ Are you as far along as you'd hoped you'd be, or are you still lagging behind without having won?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I think the care factor has probably gone down like 80 percent.テつ So I think‑‑

Q.テつ You care or not?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Both.テつ (Laughs).テつ Yeah, it's the first round today.テつ I guess I really don't‑‑ I'm kind of numb to it.テつ I don't really have any expectation.
You know, sometimes I get mad out there when I'm not doing what I need to be doing, but I think now I kind of know what to expect and what courses to play and how to travel.テつ And you know, when you're young and you're on TOUR, everything is exciting.テつ Now sometimes it can be a little bit boring because you're traveling and you're away from your family, so now you kind of just go through the emotions and you get out of your own way and play golf.テつ So it's not that big of a deal really.

Q.テつ Kind of along those lines, after the season you had last year, so many more doors opened for you going into next season, this season.テつ Will your schedule change or is there a change in expectations or I guess priorities?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah.テつ I think, you know, I think I expect I should win this year.テつ I think that's a goal of mine.テつ It's always been a goal, but I think every time I get on the course it becomes more of a realistic expectation.
But there's certain things that I have to do to become a top player, and I think that's getting the ball in play.テつ There's no doubt that I'm one of the better putters on TOUR from statistics wise.テつ So statistically if I can get the ball in play a little bit more, I feel like I have a better chance.
And I'm probably not swinging as hard as I used to when I was younger and I'm just trying to get the ball in play.テつ I've learned how to hit a 3‑wood in the fairway and gear back and realizing it's okay to hit a 5‑iron into a green instead of trying to hit a 9‑iron into the green.テつ And you know, if I can do those things well and they start to add up towards the year and you have good results.

Q.テつ I think along these lines I guess we're trying to understand the progression.テつ Where was it where you were the guy that walked around this golf course and you needed your coach to tell you where to hit it to today where you know where to hit it and how to play the golf course.テつ How did that progression go along where you learned that you could hit a 5‑iron instead of a 9‑iron?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I think the progression comes from, you know, I've worked in the last couple years with Charlie DeLucca, who is my coach in Miami.テつ And I've gotten back to shaping the ball, so I can hit the ball right to left and left to right.
I think earlier in my career I was a very predominantly left‑to‑right player, so courses were very difficult.テつ I had to fit my ball flight into work.
So now that I can hit both shots, I feel like I'm eliminating a lot more mistakes because I can work it starting from the center of the green towards the pin.テつ And with that said, I don't practice as hard as I used to because I used to be practicing one shot.テつ So now, I go to the range, I warm up and I try to see the shot and make it do what I want, and I'm not worried about hitting a bad shot.テつ So there's a factor of letting go.
And Chris and I talked about it because he hasn't played‑‑ DiMarco has not played in a while.テつ So it's hard when you don't play and you come out and you're kind of hanging on for dear life.テつ When you get to a point that you're not hanging on anymore, you can get out of your own way and play good golf.
I think I'm probably at that part of my career.テつ After the U.S. Open and playing there, I think that was evident that I was able to do that.

Q.テつ Erik, how did you spend your off season?テつ What did you do?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ We just did some work around the house, and I did a fishing tournament down in the Keys.テつ Fly fishing tournament and that was fun to be in a different mode of competition.テつ I think I finished third or fourth, which was pretty cool.テつ And then I played like five or six rounds at home.テつ We opened up the new course.
And I worked out a little bit with Ray Allen.テつ I went to the gym with him a couple of times and played him for some money games in Miami.テつ He's kind of in limbo right now.テつ That's probably the only one that wasn't asking him about his basketball stuff and he was just trying to motivate me to get in better shape.テつ So I worked out a little bit, too.テつ And then just played, I don't know, five or six rounds with him before I went back on the road.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible).
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah.テつ (Laughs).テつ I got him five ways one day.テつ (Laughs).

Q.テつ Quick scouting report on the football game next week, do you guys need Todd Gurley or can you beat them without him?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Well, I'm the wrong guy to ask.テつ I'm not much of a football guy.テつ But I think from what I've seen, I guess Georgia has a pretty good backup.テつ Florida's been in trouble this year, and I think Georgia's got a lot of talent.
You know, I'm not going to jinx it.テつ I'm not going to say anything.テつ It would be nice to beat them.テつ My brother went to Florida, so we always have a good time with that.

Q.テつ Just a quick lame journey down memory lane here, I'm always going to think of you in these parts in the Walker Cup in '01.テつ I wonder if you could go back to what you remember about that, and specifically if you're good enough to be on the Walker Cup team, and at this point you're only on your second heart; right?

Q.テつ What your expectations were coming out of that Walker Cup in terms of your career and how you look at it now?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I don't know.テつ I think when I was younger I had some unrealistic expectations.テつ I knew I was a good player, and you know, I had obviously some hurdles that I had to deal with in front of me, which I didn't see coming.テつ I didn't know I was going to have to deal with that.
But I'm very relaxed on the golf course.テつ I think now, you know, I'm almost 35 years old, and I'm not looking at it‑‑ I've had a good career in golf really.テつ Even though I've had some time off, I've been able to support myself and have a good life.テつ So you know, I'm 35 now.テつ If I can play another 10 years on the TOUR, wow, and be able to make money and play golf every day?テつ I mean it's a pretty good job.
So yeah, I think I'm a lot more humbled now than I was when I was younger, you know.テつ I thought I was going to come out and do some crazy stuff, but that's‑‑ everybody out here is really, really, really, really good.テつ And any given week, anybody can win.テつ I mean look at what Billy Horschel did.テつ I mean we were joking walking down the 18th hole, he said, that's fine because this is the highlight of his career.テつ I didn't know he had a career.テつ He's only been on TOUR for three years; right?
So careers last a long time.テつ And you know, I've been playing professional golf since I was 21, and almost 15 years playing golf for a living.
So you know, I think I've done a good job, and hopefully, you know, I'm able to hit good iron shots and good drives.テつ To me I don't really get ahead of saying I'm going to win one, two, three, four tournaments.テつ I just want to get the ball in play and hit it on the green and see where I can go.テつ And that's difficult to do in four days, and it's proven difficult for a lot of guys who've been out here who have never won on TOUR who have great careers.テつ I happen to be one of those guys right now, and I feel like if I can do the things like I did today and get out of my own way, there's no reason why I shouldn't continue to progress in this game.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible).
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Sitting right here with you.テつ How about that?テつ (Laughs).テつ Yeah, it's gotta be the U.S. Open.

Q.テつ Did you have a birdie putt on 17?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah.テつ Yeah.テつ Just hit a good putt and just went by the edge.

Q.テつ How far away was it?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I hit about a 20‑footer.
THE MODERATOR:テつ All right.テつ Anything else?テつ Everybody good?テつ Thanks for your time, Erik.

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