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Compton among 25 Nationwide Players Graduating to the PGA Tour


Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton is among the 25 players who earned a spot on the 2012 PGA Tour. Compton ended up 13th on the Nationwide Tour's money list, entitling him to a cherished card on the PGA Tour.

J.J. Killeen finished first on the Nationwide's money list with $414,273. Ted Potter, Jr., was next with $402,470, while Mathew Goggin ($378,492) was third.

Ken Duke came through in the last event of the year, the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island Club in South Carolina. The 42-year-old closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 10-under 278, earning $180,000 and going from 36th before the tournament began to seventh on the season's money list.

The 31-year-old Compton, who won the Mexico Open in June, earned $239,737 on the year. On Sunday at Daniel Island Club, he tied for 18th at even-par 72 288. "It's a miracle," Compton said about his Tour card. "It really is a miracle what I've been able to achieve."

At the age of nine Compton was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the heart that deters its ability to pump blood. Three years later in 1992, Compton received a new heart. After the first transplant failed in 2008, he received another donor heart.

Following his first transplant Compton took up golf for exercise. "This game has been such a rehab for life for me, where I could go out and not think about the issues I have," he said.

Another heartwarming story is Billy Hurley III. The former U.S. Navy lieutenant was on active duty in the Persian Gulf guarding Iraqi oil platforms two years ago. Hurley ended up 25th on the money list, grabbing the last spot by edging James Nitties by fewer than $6,000. "It was nice to see the cameras out there," Hurley said. "I knew I was close."

For the Nationwide Tour's complete money list, visit http://www.pgatour.com/h/stats/info/?109.