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April 3, 2014

Erik Compton


DOUG MILNE:テつ Erik Compton, thanks for joining us for a few minutes.テつ Great opening round, 6-under, 66 here in the Shell Houston Open.テつ Been be a busy week for you.テつ We know with this being Donate -- National Donate Life Month, you had stuff going on Monday, Tuesday, and I heard you out there a minute ago saying you weren't feeling real great this week and weren't even sure about being able to play.テつ So, you're obviously off to a great start and with that, just a few comments.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah.テつ It was a long week, but it was a great week.テつ We earlier had said to you guys to be able to visit the kids in the hospital this week being Donate Life Month, being able to participate in the events that we have was special, and, yeah, it was unfortunate I didn't know whether I was going to be able to play.テつ I spent most of the day in bed yesterday, and, you know, with my immune system, the allergies were really, really difficult.テつ When I woke up, I felt okay today and I was lucky to have a late tee time.
You know, got a little bit of practice during the week but not much.テつ So, I drove the ball pretty bad today, but this course is a very much dominant right-to-left course, and I'm playing the other way with left to right.テつ So I try to take some different lines and deliberating play some fairways to have some angles into the greens on some of the par-5s.テつ I was able to take advantage of some awkward angles and made some good putts and made a great putt on 17, which was, you know -- or 16 and 17.
So, yeah, it's early in the week.テつ There's so many low scores.テつ Just got to get up in the morning and try to do the same thing, maybe drive the ball a little bit better and make some putts.
DOUG MILNE:テつ One this thing I wanted to ask you about before we take questions, one thing that really stood out when we were talking earlier in the week is, you said these are kind of tough weeks when you do the things like you did early in the week, because you really have to kind of guard yourself against getting too emotionally involved with the Norris home visits and so forth.テつ You obviously have been able to do that.テつ Is that -- if could you maybe talk a little bit about the process of trying to get that separation there.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah.テつ Well, in the past we've done some outings on Tuesday and Wednesday.テつ I think it helped that we did start earlier in the week, did some stuff on Monday and then Tuesday, and I was able to get a little more rest.テつ I think it also helps I've played on the Tour now so I have somewhat of a familiarity with the golf course.テつ And for me just getting rest is so huge before I play.
But, you know, anytime you visit a hospital and you visit kids and people are waiting for transplants, you have to put your mind in a different place and I've done a good job.テつ I'm used to it by now.テつ And so when I do get on the golf course, it's somewhat of an escape.テつ My family doesn't look at it that way.テつ They're always concerned about my business off the golf course, but they don't want to interfere with, you know, the chances that I do have to play out here and -- but, you know, life goes on when we're off the golf course.
I try to do my best to make a difference in the lives of people who really need it, and, you know, just nice to have a good round, nice start, but again it's just one round.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Okay.テつ With that we'll take questions.

Q.テつ Do you find it any tougher to do the late early tee times versus the early late in general or does that affect you?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Yeah.テつ There's not rhyme or reason to how my body feels.テつ So, you know, I felt great today.テつ I went to sleep last night, I had some Benadryl and was able to the knock out some of the pain that I had, and, you know, feel pretty good now.テつ So getting some rest this evening, get some dinner and then wake up and do it again.
The golf course played softer than it has in the past.テつ So, you know, this course is difficult, and when you tee off, you're thinking about other holes coming out, like 18 is on my mind by the time I get to the 15th hole.テつ So, there's some tricky holes out here, and you just have to -- and I was able to bail out in the right places.テつ I didn't necessarily strike the ball as well as I would have liked off the tee, but I was able to recover very nicely.
So hopefully tomorrow I get up and drive the ball a little better and will be a little bit less of a stressful round.

Q.テつ Been a pretty good run for you the last few weeks.テつ You pulled out injured in San Antonio, correct?テつ Of course, you were in the hunt in previous tournaments.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Bay Hill, yeah.テつ That course sets up really, really good for me, and, you know, I seem to be able to figure out how to score even when days are not going as good as I would have liked, and that's what it's all about, just putting a number on the board and moving on to the next day.
Bay Hill was -- I had a chance on the back-9 there, and no one would have expected Adam would have fallen back like that.テつ But it was nice to have a good tournament and, you know, continue trying to do the same thing.

Q.テつ Bill is minus seven.テつ What were the conditions like in the afternoon?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I think they were just soft.テつ But, you know, definitely favors guys who hit the ball further, because you're not getting the roll-out that we do in the years past.テつ 15, 16, 17 were downwind holes.テつ Those holes are into the wind.テつ They're very difficult.テつ So, you know, it's going to get harder as the week goes on.テつ I think the course will dry up a little bit and -- but there has been a trend on the Tour where guys go low the first two days and kind hang in there.
It's only one round, but it does help when you get off to a good start.テつ It's nice to have a good start and try to continue doing the same thing tomorrow.テつ But my only concern is getting the ball in play and trying to find the yardage and get the ball on the green.テつ It sounds cliche and the same for everybody, but it's all I think about when I wake up.テつ Get the ball in play and get it on the green.テつ Try to make a putt, move on.

Q.テつ Looking at what you've been through in your life from the outside, I think it amazed a lot of people.テつ Are you amazed yourself to play at this level after what you've been through?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Not really, no.テつ The guys that I play with seem to be focusing on their game.テつ I'm focusing on my game.テつ You know, there's guys out here that are -- that I'm impressed with that I see play, and those guys are what motivate me to get better, you know.
Rory McIlroy playing behind us and Luke Donald and lot of guys who had some great victories and great wins.テつ I'm just trying to do whatever I can to hang in there.テつ It's obvious that I have a lot of adversity that I've had to dial with.テつ So when I'm feeling good and hitting the ball strong, I feel like I have as good a chance as anybody else.

Q.テつ Got a highlight from today's round, a moment or a shot that stood out?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Probably the last hole.テつ I deliberately hit a 3-wood off the tee there to keep it short of the right bunker.テつ I was 3 inches from the bunker on the down slope.テつ I hit it way right of the green and was able to hit a flop shot to three and a half feet and make it for par.
So that's nice when you -- I don't want to say I bailed out on 18, but it's an intimidating hole and tomorrow maybe I'll hit driver there and try to play a little more aggressive.テつ A shorter iron, but that was a great up and down and I almost hit it on water on No. 1.テつ I didn't even know there was water left.
So, I kind of abandoned -- abandoning it, never hitting a draw for the rest of the day.テつ It was more of a cut.テつ I didn't let the golf course dictate how I was going to play.テつ I played my game and my cut and whatever the hole is.

Q.テつ What was your injury in San Antonio?
ERIK COMPTON:テつ Just I had been battling allergies.

Q.テつ You didn't feel good.
ERIK COMPTON:テつ I was plus one making the cut, and I had taken two-shot penalty, and it was just -- my mind was in bad place and I needed to get some rest.テつ This is my fourth in a row, and, like I said to some friends, all I need is eight great rounds and I can retire.テつ It's not that simple.テつ (Laughter).テつ Seven more great rounds.
DOUG MILNE:テつ You're off the a good start.テつ Thanks for joining us.

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