Golf-Compton, on his third heart, gets career best finish

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, March 3 Mon Mar 4, 2013 1:36am GMT

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, March 3 (Reuters) - Double heart-transplant recipient Erik Compton made a career best finish with a tie for fourth place in the Honda Classic on Sunday.

The 33-year-old from Miami defied the odds to get on the Tour last year, playing with his third heart, but he was in no mood to reflect on his remarkable struggle.

"It's hard for me to get too sentimental about it, because I've turned the corner on my story and I really want to be one of the top 50 players in the world and I have to the game to do it," he said.

Compton's determination is obvious but what he would prefer the focus be on his ability on the course, which he demonstrated with an even-par round of 70 on a day when so many players struggled in the winds.

"Those that come out and watch me can see that I can still hit the ball.

"It's hard to put it all into words of how special it is, but I'm such a competitive guy and that's probably why I'm still alive.

"I'm sure everybody is really proud of me, and I'm proud of the way I played regardless of the score, I played well enough to win this week. Just got to move forward," he said.

Compton would have had fourth place all to himself had he not bogeyed the par-five 18th, where his ball got muddy before his second shot, which he sliced into the water.

"I spent a little money on 18th. I'm sure I'll hear that from my dad," he said.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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