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January 24, 2015

Erik Compton


DOUG MILNE:テつ All right, we'll go ahead and get started.テつ Thanks for joining us Eric 5‑under 67 today after back to back 66s in the first couple rounds.テつ I was listening on the Golf Channel and the word you used was miraculous for a couple of your saves on the greens today.テつ Just a couple comments on the round today and then we'll take a few questions.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah, I think that when I woke up this morning I knew we would have a little bit more wind and there was just enough wind to get you thinking about flighting the ball a little bit and controlling your shots.テつ Which I've been practicing a lot in Miami, so some days you can't even play golf it's so windy there.
But I did a good job of saving the round.テつ I didn't really play the par‑5s as great as I wanted to.テつ I think I only birdied one of them.
I had a couple shots that were loose on the drives, but I salvaged the round and tomorrow's a new day.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Absolutely.テつ You're right there.テつ We'll take some questions.

Q.テつ Given that you shot 67, which is a very good score, anywhere, except maybe here, are you surprised that maybe the top of the field didn't run away a little deeper today?テつ Because you caught up a lot of shots with this 67.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Well, I was definitely on the course that was easier.テつ I think you can get away with some of the shots and knowing where to miss it on the Nicklaus Private.テつ The Palmer Course can be penalizing if you hit it in the wrong places.テつ I didn't play bad, I just hit a few loose shots and golf is a game of misses, so I was able to correct and get up‑and‑down on the ones that I didn't.
In the off season I played more rounds, played nine holes with friends and instead of beating balls on the driving range.テつ So when I got out here, I was very comfortable with flighting the ball and hitting it both ways to make the shot work.
Sometimes when you, when your game is not in top form you're kind of one dimensional.テつ So I feel comfortable about my game and I think I'm a lot more relaxed starting the season and I deliberately took Hawaii off, so that I would feel more rested starting in on the California swing.
So, yeah, it's just great to be here and great to be in the mix with great players like Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar and other guys.

Q.テつ Was the wind ever a point where you had to back away from a shot or was it just enough like you said, to make you think a little second extra second every time?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah, well, I probably, my pace wasn't that great this week, because I haven't played.テつ This is really the first competitive round I played in a few months.テつ So, there was just enough wind that you had to flight the ball and when you have cross winds, it can be difficult, especially when they're going the opposite direction of what the hole's laid out to play.テつ So, you just have to manufacture shots and execute around the greens.

Q.テつ How is the way you look at your game or your life changed since the U.S. Open last year?テつ What did that do for you through last year and going into this year?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I think just confidence.テつ Probably more at ease with myself and not really feeling like I have to prove anything, just the confidence is huge in this game.
It's very easy when you're early in your career and learning the golf courses to play timid and play away from trouble and water and stuff.テつ Now, I kind of know how my game is and I know how it sets up throughout the whole course of the year, so certain holes you get up and say, I don't really care, I'm just going to go ahead and hit the shot that like you would do when you're playing at home with your friends and you pull the shot off.テつ So, just a comfort level.

Q.テつ I notice you have the Donate For Life patch on your sleeve.テつ With your background and with the things that you have gone through, how do you approach golf?テつ Is it like every day's a blessing, I mean how, what's your approach, what's your philosophy?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah, I think every day has been a blessing.テつ I'm constantly reminded of what I've gone through and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about what I've been through or how had to deal with.テつ So, some days are better than others, but I think the off season really puts things in perspective, because I realize that we're playing a sport that's very small compared to the issues that are in the world.
And when you get away from golf ‑‑ and you can ask all the players ‑‑ when you get away from this game and you're home with your family and enjoying the holidays sometimes you realize what's important.
So, when I'm home with my family and being able to enjoy those special times during Christmas and things like that, I realize how lucky I am to be alive and be here and especially when fans come out.
We're out there and we're grinding over putts or we're pissed off because we missed a short putt.テつ But they're out here for enjoyment.テつ We're entertainers.
I think after the U.S. Open, I realized more the impact and how important it is for me to really enjoy life and to give back to those that have been through some really traumatic experiences.
Today I played with a Wounded Warrior, who is a scratch golfer, who has one leg.テつ On the third hole he said, hey, listen, you know, you really inspired me learning about your story; and him explaining his story; and I'm kind of speechless, because I see him with a huge adversity that he's gone through and it speaks volumes.
So, yeah, it's very, very nice to be around people who get it and people who understand the importance of life.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Okay.テつ Erik, thank you for joining us.テつ Best of luck tomorrow.

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