Erik Compton awarded inaugural PGA TOUR Courage Award
October 9, 2013
SAN MARTIN, Calif.– Commissioner Tim Finchem announced today that the PGA TOUR has awarded the inaugural PGA TOUR Courage Award to two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, who recently completed his second season on TOUR.
The PGA TOUR Courage Award is presented to a player who, through courage and perseverance, has overcome extraordinary adversity, such as personal tragedy or debilitating injury or illness, to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the game of golf. The Courage Award includes a $25,000 charitable contribution to be distributed to a charity of the award recipient’s choice; this year’s contribution will be shared by the Cardiovascular Institute of Miami and the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation at Compton’s request.
“Erik’s story is a remarkable one in the fact he has overcome extraordinary odds to not only survive, but thrive,” said Finchem, speaking from the Frys.com Open. “In recent years, he has started a family with wife Barbara and daughter Petra, won a Web.com Tour event and played two years on the PGA TOUR. With Erik’s show of perseverance and courage, along with his charitable work to encourage organ donation, he is a very fitting recipient of the inaugural PGA TOUR Courage Award.”
The donation to the Cardiovascular Institute of Miami will support the Advanced Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension Program at the South Miami Heart Center at South Miami Hospital in honor of Dr. Javier Jimenez. The Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation gift honors the host and namesake of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, who awarded Compton with a Sponsor Exemption to his event early in Compton’s career.
“Through the help of family, doctors and friends, I have gone from being someone lying on his back in recovery to someone walking the fairways of the PGA TOUR,” said Compton. “Not only has playing on TOUR been a dream of mine, but it has also served greatly in the healing process. It has given me something to work toward, but also something to hope for. I’m incredibly grateful for this award and blessed to have the opportunity to be playing on the PGA TOUR.”
When Compton was 9 years old, he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition that has forced him to undergo two heart transplants, the first being in 1992 at the age of 12. The Miami native began playing golf as part of his rehabilitation, and Compton went on to become the 1998 American Junior Golf Association Co-Player of the Year, a 2001 second-team All-America selection at the University of Georgia and a member of the 2001 United States Walker Cup Team.
After playing the Web.com Tour full-time in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Compton underwent a second transplant in 2008 after he suffered a heart attack and, with no one around, was forced to drive himself to the hospital. Six months later, he played and made the cut at the PGA TOUR’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic as a Sponsor Exemption. Compton won the 2011 Mexico Open on the Web.com Tour and later earned his PGA TOUR card for 2012 after finishing 13th on the season-ending money list. In 2013, he earned his first career top-10 finish, a tie for fourth at The Honda Classic, and remained exempt for the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season as he finished inside the top 100 in the FedExCup standings.
Compton is involved with the Transplant Foundation and Donate Life America. With nearly 120,000 individuals awaiting an organ transplant, Compton’s efforts with Donate Life America aim to help raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation.
He is scheduled to play this week at the Frys.com Open, the first event of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season.
- Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes raises funds for Birdies for the Brave homefront groups 05/19/2015
- Join the Crowne Plaza Invitational At Colonial's "Always On Charity Challenge" 05/18/2015
- Doyle Glass, Leigh Colpack named Regions Tradition Volunteers of the Year 05/18/2015
- Inaugural Lincoln Awards: A Concert for Veterans & the Military Family airs on PBS May 22 05/15/2015
- CBS To Air "PGA REACH: Impacting Lives Through Golf" Special May 16 05/14/2015
- Big Break: Warrior Edition honors military veterans with television-inspired golf skills competition 05/14/2015
- PHOTO: Web.com Tour Wives collect donated items for New Foundations Home for Children 05/14/2015
- Wells Fargo Championship teams with Callaway Golf, Birdies for the Brave to honor two Purple Heart recipients 05/14/2015
- Tiger Woods Foundation earns four-star Charity Navigator rating for third consecutive year 05/14/2015
- Two real-life superheroes meet at the Wells Fargo Championship 05/13/2015