Photo: Erik Compton, right, reacts to his drive on 18 during first-round play at the John Deere Classic on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Looking on is pro golfer Jamie Lovemark. (Larry Fisher/QUAD-CITY TIMES)
It’s an Olympic style event in which people who have received a new heart or some other organ from someone else compete against one another in various athletic endeavors.
We know of only one athlete who is competing with replacement parts against guys who all have their original equipment.
And he managed to shoot a 3-under-par 68 Thursday in the opening round of the John Deere Classic.
Erik Compton has undergone not one, but two, heart transplants in his 32 years, but he showed again Thursday that he is fully capable of matching skills with the best golfers in the world on a weekly basis.
“I’ve had issues my whole life,” Compton said after his first trip around Deere Run. “I’m just blessed to be able to walk up and down these hills in this heat, and pursue my dream.”
Compton was an aspiring 9-year-old athlete in Miami when he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, an inflammation that impairs the heart’s ability to pump blood. Over the course of time, the ailment took over his life. He was vomiting all the time. He was seeing spots.
He was put on a donor list and when a 15-year-old girl was killed by a drunk driver in 1992, her still healthy heart was passed on to the 12-year-old Compton.
That ended his dreams of starring in such sports as football and baseball so he re-channeled his competitive juices into a less rambunctious sport.Read more: