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Erik Compton, 1 Shot Back At Memorial, Playing With Heart Transplant Donated By Local Columbus Man

So this may be the most amazing sports story, chock full of irony, that you've read in awhile. The journey of PGA Tour pro Erik Compton is fairly well-known. Compton has had two heart transplants, the most recent four years ago after the heart he had transplanted when he was 12 went bad. He was on his last legs when he received his second transplant.

It's amazing that Compton has made it to the Tour, playing his way onto the highest circuit in golf. He's not receiving sponsor exemptions because of his popular and incredible backstory, rather he earned his spot, qualifying through his play on the Nationwide Tour where he finished in the top 15 on the money list in 2011. He's had some success this year as well and is capable of firing a low round, which he did on Thursday at Muirfield Village. The first-round 67 puts him at 5-under and one shot off the lead.

The irony of his success in Columbus this week is that he's playing with heart donated by a former Columbus resident. CBSSports' Steve Elling details the story after the jump.

Via Steve Elling of

Four years ago he was on his deathbed in a Miami hospital, awaiting a second donor heart after the one he received at age 12 had all but blown up.

Compton's current heart came from Isaac Klosterman, a 26-year-old Dayton native and Columbus resident who was killed in a cycle crash in Miami.

Compton, whose story has gone global since he's the only sports figure in the world who has undergone two heart transplants, is a rookie on the tour this year after playing his way to the big leagues via the Nationwide Tour.

It's truly a remarkable story that Elling uncovered, and Compton will surely be a fan favorite this weekend in Columbus. He acknowledged as much in his post-round remarks on Thursday night:

"It's just a great story, obviously, and ... for me it's a special place," Compton said. "For me there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my donor. To be able to play here, regardless of whether I play good or bad, it's just always a nice week.

"To be here, my wife is here, she flew in, so ... maybe she's good luck, she brought me some good luck. I know there's a lot of people that are in the town that may be familiar with the story, so that's obviously always cool to play in front of people that are rooting for you."

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For more on the 2012 Memorial throughout the week, visit SB Nation Cleveland'sStoryStream. For more on the PGA Tour, visit SB Nation's golf hub.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.