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 Entertainment

Angelina Jolie crowned world’s top feminist icon

Fresh
Angelina Jolie arrives at the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson top the list of the world's foremost feminist icons.

in Entertainment, National

Stars join protests over passing of Indiana’s Religious Freedom law

Fresh
George Takei poses for a portrait at Quaker Good Energy Lodge with GenArt and the Collective , during the Sundance Film Festival, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in Park City, Utah.

Celebrities call for an Indiana boycott after the passing of a controversial law that could lead to discrimination against gay couples.

in Lifestyle

White House unveils plan to fight antibiotic-resistant germs

Fresh
The North Lawn of the White House, on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in Washington.

The White House announce a five-year plan to fight drug-resistant germs.

in National

Senate’s Harry Reid will not seek re-election

Fresh
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. adjusts his glasses as he speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, following a policy luncheon. Reid is wearing special glasses as part of his recovery from injuries suffered in an exercise accident in January.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says that it would be "inappropriate" for him to seek re-election.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘It Follows’ is the best American horror film in a decade

In this image released by Brigade Marketing, actress Maika Monroe appears in a scene of It Follows, directed by David Robert Mitchell. “It Follows,” has been arguably the buzziest American film at Cannes next to Bennett Miller’s wrestling drama “Foxcatcher,” which boasts a far more famous cast and a major premiere at the Palais des Festival.

"It Follows" is a horror movie worthy of classic comparisons.