Compton’s 67 earns share of lead

Erik Compton shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 and was tied for the lead with Bill Haas, Michael Putnam and rookie Justin Thomas going to the final round of the Humana Challenge in La Quinta.

Compton, a 35-year-old double heart transplant recipient who has never won on the PGA Tour, earned his share of the lead with four birdies on the back nine of the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West after opening the tournament with 66-66.

“I definitely played the course that is a little easier,” said Compton, who has won seven titles as a pro, the biggest the 2011 Mexico Open on what is now the Tour. “You can get away with some loose shots on the Nicklaus course and I was able to get up and down a few times. The Palmer Course (where the final round will be played) is tougher.

“I’m comfortable with my game and a lot more relaxed out here. It’s great to be in the mix here with players like Bill Haas (who won this tournament in 2010 when it was the Bob Hope Classic) and Matt Kuchar.”

Thomas, 21, who was an All-American at Alabama, followed a 63 with a 68 on the Palmer Private Course at PGA West, while Putnam, from Pepperdine, posted a 69 at La Quinta Country Club and Haas had a 69 on the Nicklaus Course.

Kuchar held a two-stroke lead after 14 holes on the Palmer Course, but made three bogeys on the last four holes, hitting his tee shot into the water on the par-3 17th and finding the water again on his second shot  approach on the par-5 18th.

Kooch finished with a 71 and was one shot back in a tie for fifth with Ryan Palmer, who carded a 68 on the Palmer Course, Steve Wheatcroft, who shot 68 on the Nicklaus Course, and Scot Pinckney, who had a 69 on the Palmer Course.

Defending champion Patrick Reed carded a 69 on the Palmer Course and was three shots back in a tie for ninth with six others, and Phil Mickelson, playing for the first time in 2015, had a 68 on the Palmer Course and was in a tie for 34th, six strokes behind.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles