Spotlight on | Golf

Local golfers Erik Compton, Lexi Thompson continue to be on the rise

 
 
Erik Compton tees off on the 15th during Round Three of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on April 26, 2014 in Avondale, La.
Erik Compton tees off on the 15th during Round Three of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on April 26, 2014 in Avondale, La.
Stacy Revere / Getty Images

Special to the Miami Herald

April was a noteworthy month for South Florida’s top golfers on the sport’s biggest stages — the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour.

We’re not talking about all those professional golfers who move to South Florida, usually clustering in the Palm Beach or Orlando area so they can hone their skills for 365 days a year. We’re talking about true South Floridians, the most-notable recently being Erik Compton and Lexi Thompson.

They were born in South Florida. They grew up in South Florida. They still call South Florida their true homes, despite traveling to tournaments all over the world.

Thompson, born in Coral Springs, has had an illustrious start to her LPGA career, with the biggest achievement coming earlier this month when she won her first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, at age 19.

Compton, born in Miami, hasn’t reached that status comparatively, but is smiling all the way to the bank. By finishing tied for fifth in the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La., last weekend, he brought his 2014 winnings to a career-high $810,483.

And there’s a lot more golf to be played this year.

At age 34, Compton seems to be climbing the leaderboard and climbing to new career heights.

“I’ve been out here for a while,” Compton admitted.

Compton has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but he still has high hopes. Recent results buoy that possibility. This year’s $800,00-plus earnings comes immediately after his second-best earnings of $651,600 in 2013.

Not bad for a guy who turned pro in 2001 and in 2002 made $22,438 in PGA Tour events.

His best PGA Tour finish to date was a fourth in the 2013 Honda Classic.

Compton fully knows, and reluctantly accepts, that his health history of having two heart transplants (1992 and 2008) often outshines the recognition of his success on the golf course. Nevertheless, part of his PGA routine is to visit hospitals — particularly children’s hospitals — in an effort to give patients hope simply by talking to them.

Only fitting that five months after his second transplant he tied for 60th in his first tournament back. Even more fitting, the tournament was the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

That marked a big achievement.

And there is one more big achievement Compton would like to accomplish — to win a PGA tournament.

“I just have to get it done,” Compton said.

NOVA JOINS BARRY

Nova Southeastern will join longtime rival Barry University in the Division II South/Southeast Super Regional May 5-7 in Savannah, Ga. Barry is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Lynn is the No. 2-seeded team in the tournament with Nova Southeastern third.

The Nova Southeastern women’s team also qualified for its Super Regional on May 4-6 at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club in Dade City. Nova Southeastern is seeded fifth. Lynn is the top seed with Barry No. 3.

THAT’S A FACT, JACK

In Caddyshack, possibly golf’s most-famous movie, one of the classic lines is Bill Murray as Carl Spackler uttering, “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper now about to become the Masters champion.” He delivers that line while swinging away at flowers with a garden tool. The words were not in the script. Murray improvised the lines.

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  • LPGA - Canadian Pacific Women's Open Preview

    Thursday, August 21st through Sunday, August 24th Course Info Site: London Hunt and Country Club, London, Ontario, Canada Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr (1959), Rees Jones (2000 - redesign) Par: 72 Yardage: 6,656 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,356 Yds 1 - Par 4 404 Yds 2 - Par 3 167 Yds 3 - Par 4 383 Yds 4 - Par 5 482 Yds 5 - Par 4 434 Yds 6 - Par 4 400 Yds 7 - Par 5 550 Yds 8 - Par 3 152 Yds 9 - Par 4 384 Yds Back Nine: 36 3,300 Yds 10 - Par 5 529 Yds 11 - Par 4 373 Yds 12 - Par 4 391 Yds 13 - Par 3 171 Yds 14 - Par 4 402 Yds 15 - Par 4 361 Yds 16 - Par 5 513 Yds 17 - Par 3 183 Yds 18 - Par 4 377 Yds Tournament Info Year: 14th on LPGA Tour Television: Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 12-2 p.m. (et), - Saturday -- 3-5 p.m. (et), - Sunday -- 2-5 p.m. (et) Champion: Lydia Ko Runner Up: Karine Icher Tournament Record: 265 (Lydia Ko, 2013) 54-Hole Record: 199 (Lorena Ochoa, 2007; Suzann Pettersen, 2009) 36-Hole Record: 132 (Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, 2013) Course Record: Total Purse: $2,250,000 Shares: 1st Place - $337,500; 2nd Place - $206,907; 3rd Place - $146,672 2013 Final Leaderboard Lydia Ko 265 Karine Icher 270 Brittany Lincicome 271 Caroline Hedwall 271 Stacy Prammanasudh 272 I.K. Kim 272 Suzann Pettersen 273 Caroline Masson 273 Gerina Piller 274 Three players at 275 Past Winners 2013: Lydia Ko (265). Runner up: Karine Icher 2012: Lydia Ko (275). Runner up: Inbee Park 2011: Brittany Lincicome (275). Runner up: Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie 2010: Michelle Wie (276). Runner up: Kristy McPherson, Jee Young Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Jiyai Shin 2009: Suzann Pettersen (269). Runner up: Momoko Ueda, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Angela Stanford, Karrie Webb 2008: Katherine Hull (277). Runner up: Se Ri Pak 2007: Lorena Ochoa (268). Runner up: Paula Creamer 2006: Cristie Kerr (276). Runner up: Angela Stanford 2005: Meena Lee (279). Runner up: Katherine Hull 2004: Meg Mallon (270). Runner up: Beth Daniel 2003: Beth Daniel (275). Runner up: Juli Inkster 2002: Meg Mallon (284). Runner up: Michele Redman, Michelle Ellis, Catriona Matthew 2001: Annika Sorenstam (272). Runner up: Kelly Robbins 2000: Meg Mallon (282). Runner up: Rosie Jones 1999: Karrie Webb (277). Runner up: Laura Davies 1998: Brandie Burton (270). Runner up: Annika Sorenstam 1997: Colleen Walker (278). Runner up: Liselotte Neumann 1996: Laura Davies (277). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Karrie Webb 1995: Jenny Lidback (280). Runner up: Liselotte Neumann 1994: Martha Nause (279). Runner up: Michelle McGann 1993: *Brandie Burton (277). Runner up: Betsy King 1992: Sherri Steinhauer (277). Runner up: Judy Dickinson 1991: Nancy Scranton (279). Runner up: Debbie Massey 1990: Cathy Johnston (276). Runner up: Patty Sheehan 1989: Tammie Green (279). Runner up: Pat Bradley, Betsy King 1988: Sally Little (279). Runner up: Laura Davies 1987: Jody Anschutz (272). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1986: *Pat Bradley (276). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1985: Pat Bradley (278). Runner up: Jane Geddes 1984: Juli Inkster (279). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1983: Hollis Stacy (277). Runner up: JoAnne Carner, Alice Miller 1982: Sandra Haynie (280). Runner up: Beth Daniel 1981: Jan Stephenson (278). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley 1980: Pat Bradley (277). Runner up: JoAnne Carner 1979: Amy Alcott (285). Runner up: Nancy Lopez 1978: JoAnne Carner (278). Runner up: Hollis Stacy 1977: Judy Rankin (214). Runner up: Pat Meyers, Sandra Palmer 1976: *Donna Caponi (212). Runner up: Judy Rankin 1975: *JoAnne Carner (214). Runner up: Carol Mann 1974: Carole Jo Callison (208). Runner up: JoAnne Carner 1973: *Jocelyne Bourassa (214). Runner up: Sandra Haynie, Judy Rankin 1972: Not Held. Runner up: 1971: Not Held. Runner up: 1970: Not Held. Runner up: 1969: Sandra Haynie (216). Runner up: Marilynn Smith, Kathy Whitworth 1968: Carol Mann (213). Runner up: Judy Kimball 1967: Carol Mann (210). Runner up: Margie Masters 1966: Kathy Whitworth (213). Runner up: Mickey Wright Previously known as Ladies' Supertest Open (1966-69), La Canadienne (1973), Peter Jackson Classic (1974-83), du Maurier Classic (1984-2000), Bank of Montreal Canadian Women's Open (2001-02), BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open (2003-05), CN Canadian Women's Open (2006-13). Top Contenders Lydia Ko 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: Won 2013: Won Karine Icher 2004: 2005: 2006: T-28 2007: T-50 2008: mc 2009: T-55 2010: T-8 2011: 2012: mc 2013: 2nd Brittany Lincicome 2004: 2005: T-22 2006: T-50 2007: T-39 2008: T-38 2009: 63rd 2010: T-15 2011: Won 2012: T-60 2013: T-3 I.K. Kim 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-43 2008: T-17 2009: 7th 2010: 6th 2011: T-49 2012: mc 2013: T-5 Suzann Pettersen 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: T-10 2008: 7th 2009: Won 2010: T-2 2011: mc 2012: T-15 2013: T-7 Paula Creamer 2004: T-18 2005: 2006: 2007: 2nd 2008: T-8 2009: T-28 2010: T-15 2011: T-18 2012: T-60 2013: T-10 Inbee Park 2004: 2005: mc 2006: 2007: T-26 2008: T-21 2009: T-24 2010: T-28 2011: mc 2012: 2nd 2013: T-13 Mika Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: mc 2010: T-15 2011: T-18 2012: T-15 2013: T-13 Angela Stanford 2004: T-37 2005: T-3 2006: 2nd 2007: T-10 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: mc 2011: T-4 2012: T-26 2013: T-13 Na Yeon Choi 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-32 2009: T-24 2010: T-11 2011: T-6 2012: T-3 2013: T-17 Anna Nordqvist 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-8 2010: mc 2011: T-29 2012: T-6 2013: T-20 Cristie Kerr 2004: T-21 2005: 2006: Won 2007: T-50 2008: T-21 2009: T-18 2010: T-8 2011: T-4 2012: T-41 2013: T-20 Ai Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: mc 2008: mc 2009: T-2 2010: T-15 2011: T-16 2012: mc 2013: T-20 Lexi Thompson 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: mc 2013: T-20 Yani Tseng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-6 2008: 3rd 2009: T-33 2010: mc 2011: T-29 2012: T-35 2013: T-24 So Yeon Ryu 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: mc 2013: T-34 Shanshan Feng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-52 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: T-55 2013: T-38 Katherine Kirk 2004: T-40 2005: 2nd 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: Won 2009: mc 2010: T-37 2011: mc 2012: T-26 2013: T-41 Meena Lee 2004: 2005: Won 2006: 4th 2007: T-58 2008: T-10 2009: T-55 2010: T-21 2011: T-35 2012: T-26 2013: mc Karrie Webb 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-18 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: T-60 2011: T-45 2012: T-26 2013: mc Lorie Kane 2004: T-5 2005: T-27 2006: T-16 2007: mc 2008: T-38 2009: mc 2010: T-11 2011: T-63 2012: mc 2013: mc Stacy Lewis 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-40 2010: mc 2011: T-2 2012: T-6 2013: wd NOTES: The LPGA moves north of the border to Canada this week for the 14th annual Canadian Pacific Women's Open. The top four players in the world are expected to compete - Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen.

  •  
Golfer Rory McIlroy, right, listens as fellow golfer Tiger Woods, left, banters with television host Jimmy Fallon during a golfing demonstration, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.

    Kuchar healthy again after bizarre back injury

    Chalk this up to one of the more bizarre injuries in golf. Matt Kuchar missed the final major of the year when his back locked up on him from having to sit too long in traffic.

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