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THE HONDA CLASSIC


March 3, 2013


Erik Compton


PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA

Q.¬† We were just talking about the inspirational story that is Erik Compton, this is your best finish ever on the PGA TOUR, what does it say about you and your game to be able to be here today inside that Top‑10?
ERIK COMPTON:  I've been trying to do this for a long time.  It's been a great year for me, just really exciting.  This had a major field to it, all the best players in the world playing.  Just played tough, played really well this week.  Today played well and the course didn't give me much.  Hit a great shot on 18 off the tee and had a little bit of mud on the ball.  Was trying to basically hit into the grandstand and the ball sliced 55 yards.
You know, I played so great, it's going to bother me for a little bit, but this year, I've put aside some goals and obviously I've been through a lot in my life but I really want to win out here.

Q.¬† Back‑to‑back rounds, even par 70 under these conditions on a very tough golf course, your thoughts on how well you're playing?
ERIK COMPTON:¬† I played super good today.¬† My ball‑striking was just excellent and I hit all my targets.¬† The front nine could have been really low.¬† Obviously the back nine, just hang in there and I thought maybe if I made one birdie, maybe birdie or eagle on 18, I have a chance to win the tournament, you never know what's going to happen out there.
But I had a little mud on the ball on 18, and I was trying to hit it in the grandstand, just to give you an idea of where it started and where it ended up.
You know, I'm looking forward to next week and then you know, more golf here in the Florida Swing.

Q.  This is your best finish, ever, on the PGA TOUR, and what you've gone through in your life physically, what does this say about where you are in your life and your game?
ERIK COMPTON:¬† It's hard for me to get too sentimental about it, because I've turned the corner on my story and I really want to be one of the Top‑50 players in the world, and I have to the game to do it.
Those that come out and watch me can see that I can still hit the ball, when my heart is not outside my chest, it's in there.  I'm hitting the ball solid.  I know what you mean, it's hard to put it all into words of how special it is, but I'm such a competitive guy and that's probably why I'm still alive.
I don't even know what place I'm in right now, I just know that I spent some money on 18, I'm sure I'll hear that from my dad.  But you know, I'm sure everybody is really proud of me, and I'm proud of the way I played regardless of the score, I played well enough to win this week.  Just got to move forward.

Q.  With the mud on the ball, are you expecting it to go right?  Is that why you were aiming so far left?
ERIK COMPTON:¬† I was aiming in the grandstands.¬† I was aiming ten yard left of the left side of the green ‑‑ and it started there.¬† That's why I was wondering why it crossed over there by the end of the green and it's so windy by the time you look up, you can't really see where the ball is landing.
So you know, maybe it was a blessing so I was able to go back and hit a full yardage in there, I don't know.  I would have liked to have made a few putts this week.

Q.  Did mud on the ball take eagle out of the equation in your mind?
ERIK COMPTON:¬† No, I was just trying to blow it in the grandstand and get up‑and‑down.

Q.¬† But if there was no mud on the ball, are you thinking distance‑‑
ERIK COMPTON:¬† I would have been more aggressive.¬† I was contemplating even hitting a 4‑iron in there because there was so much mud on it to just kind of snap‑hook it against the wind.¬† But I've been hitting a little fade all week, so I mean, it started on my target which gives you an idea of how much it cut.

Q.  40 yards?
ERIK COMPTON:  Yeah.

Q.  You're saying you had a different approach on 10, were you purposely trying to play it a different way?
ERIK COMPTON:¬† I tried to play down No.9.¬† I just don't see where you can hit it.¬† If you hit it left off 10, then you have 250 out of the rough.¬† At least I could advance it from the right rough on 9 and if you're in the fairway, it's just a 5‑iron over the trees.¬† I played No. 4, I played way left over there, as well, a few times.
But gosh, I played so good on the front nine and only shot 2‑under.¬† I mean, you know, I was telling Bambi, my caddie, I'm 1‑under after 11 and felt like I could have been five or six.

Q.¬† Have you had time to reflect‑‑
ERIK COMPTON:¬† I show up on the tee and I'm the same guy‑‑ I can't turn it on and off.¬† I'm the same guy.¬† I will go and enjoy time with my family and look forward to playing next week.¬† There's no on and off switch, which people think there is.¬† Just looking forward to putting myself in that position again.

Q.  I guess where I was going with that, what this does for you as you go to next week.
ERIK COMPTON:  I think actually playing with Tiger last week, or not last week, but a few weeks ago at Torrey and just being in that environment, has really made me understand what it takes to play out here and the patience that you need to have.
And so I'm not real, real nervous over shots, like even today.  It's just another golf swing, probably taken me 13 years to get to that level.

Q.  Jim was saying some of the things he thought about that maybe for a while, you were trying too hard, too quickly because of your health concerns, you were maybe a little impatient, and tried to relax out there and not force it as much; do you agree, the last couple years?
ERIK COMPTON:  You know, what I thought I was pretty darned good when I was 23.  When you're young, you think you're really good and that you have the game figured out.  I'm a better player now, and you know, it just takes a lot of time to get good at golf.
My short game is so much better now than I was in my early 20s, up‑and‑downs, being able to read lies and just being able to hang in there.¬† You know, you tend to have a little more patience when you have a family and you have kids running around and you just mature.

Q.  Where does your persistence come from?
ERIK COMPTON:¬† I remember when I was a kid, my dad pulled me out of the car, and we were on our way to an AJGA event and he pulled me aside and shook me pretty good and said if I wanted to feel sorry for myself the rest of my life‑‑ and I think my persistence comes from my dad.¬† Even then in that last hole, I still hear his voice, because it's like, what are you doing.¬† So if I ever whiffed a putt or walked off a course, he was walking off.
So I guess that wasn't a good thing if your dad leaves the course.  I think that's where I get my persistence from.  Even when I was sick and thought I was never going to play golf again, he was still talking about golf and I thought he was crazy because I thought it was over with.  I think I get a lot from him for that.  Par.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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