News

Young gun Fowler, journeyman Compton coverage in Pinehurst

Young gun Fowler, journeyman Compton coverage in Pinehurst

U.S. OPEN:Rickie Fowler of the U.S. lines up his putt on the 14th green during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina June 14. Photo: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) – Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton have followed very different paths to the PGA Tour but they converged in impressive style at the U.S. Open on Saturday as they ended the third round tied for second place.

Fowler, one of the most exciting talents to emerge in recent years, and journeyman Compton, a double heart-transplant recipient who has played mainly on the satellite tours, soared into contention with matching three-under-par 67s.

Though they trail tournament leader Martin Kaymer of Germany by five shots heading into Sunday’s final round at Pinehurst Resort, the two Americans have so far relished their performances in the second major championship of the season.

“I’m very, very pleased with today’s work,” Fowler, 25, told reporters after he and Compton were the only two players in the 67-man field to shoot under par on a difficult day for scoring. “I kept it in play and stayed out of trouble when I could.

“I kind of minimized mistakes when I was in trouble, and made some good swings in bad spots. I made some really good iron swings, and got up and down when I needed to. It was all about moving forward today.”

Fowler, who made the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team during his rookie PGA Tour season before clinching his first title on the circuit at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, has been especially delighted with his form in this year’s majors.

He tied for fifth at the Masters in April and is in good position to record the fourth top-10 of his career in the majors at Pinehurst on Sunday.

“The main goal going into the year was to be ready for the majors and go contend in the majors,” said the Californian. “I put myself in that position at Augusta and I’ve done that this week.

“I would definitely be very happy at the end of the year if I was in contention at all four majors. I really wouldn’t care about what happened in the other tournaments just because my main goals were to be ready for the majors.”

Compton, who was diagnosed with an enlarged heart as a child and had his first transplant aged 12, is competing in only his second major championship this week and has loved every minute.

“It’s very special,” said the 34-year-old, who missed the cut when he made his major debut in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. “I’m just happy to be able to play golf.

“But to play at this high level and in such a big tournament, it is something that I carry with me. And it gives me a lot of strength when I do have moments where I feel like I get emotional for a second.

“I’m just really, really happy to be here. I’m taking really tight lines off the tee and swinging hard. When you’re doing that, it’s pretty fun.”

Compton, who had a second heart transplant in 2008 before playing his rookie season on the PGA Tour in 2012, has enjoyed a high comfort level this week at Pinehurst despite competing in only his second major.

“I’ve been playing good golf for a long time, since I was a junior golfer, college golfer, and playing at other pro levels, and this year I’ve had a great year,” he said. “We’re playing against the same guys.

“I just try to hit fairways and greens. It shouldn’t feel any different than any other tournament. I have been through a lot in my life. And putting things in perspective may help me.

“Today I didn’t feel much adrenaline or pressure. I just kind of enjoyed the round. It was just a good, solid day. Just really, really happy to be here.”

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Julian Linden)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Only arguing remains in Sterling trail

Fresh
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2010, file photo, Shelly Sterling sits with her husband, Donald Sterling, right, during the Los Angeles Clippers' NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Los Angeles. With a $2 billion sale of the Clippers hanging in the balance, a judge is set to determine Monday, June 30, 2014, if the terms of a family trust alone are enough to confirm Donald Sterling was properly removed as trustee and allow his estranged wife to sell the team without his consent.

Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

in Sports

Paul McGinley pulls out of PGA Championship with injury

Paul McGinley of Ireland laughs during a news conference after being named the European Ryder Cup captain at the St. REgis in Saadiyat Islands in Abu Dhabi on January 15, 2013.

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has pulled out of the PGA Championship with a shoulder injury.

in National

Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar for $8.5 billion

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005, file photo, customers walk past a Family Dollar store at Hickory Grove Market in Charlotte, N.C. Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion, the companies announced Monday, July 28, 2014.

Discount store chain Dollar Tree Inc offered to buy rival Family Dollar Stores Inc for about $8.5 billion.

in Sports

South African Tim Clark wins Canadian Open

Tim Clark tees off the 12th hole during the third round of the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal GC - Blue Course on July 26, 2014.

South African Tim Clark sank a six-foot par putt to beat American Jim Furyk by one stroke at the Canadian Open.

in National

Tentative agreement reached on U.S. veterans’ funding bill

Senator-elect Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is interviewed by a Reuters reporter at Sanders' office in Burlington, Vermont on November 28, 2006.

The head of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and his House counterpart will outline the funding agreement at a news conference today.