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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT
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Balin Hopes to Build on PGA Experience

The game of golf can give, and it can take away. Danny Balin had a dream-come-true scenario in front of him when participating in his first professional major at the PGA Championship last weekend. Unfortunately, Mother Nature and some bad breaks made for two rounds of golf Balin would like to forget after missing the cut and finishing the tournament at plus-8.

"On the first hole of my PGA Championship career I hit it right down the middle of the fairway, but it landed in a divot. That kind of sums up the weekend right there," said Balin, junior golf instructor at Burning Tree Country Club. "But that's just golf. Some weeks are your weeks and others aren't."

Balin, 28, had his share of bad luck, thanks to fog and rain at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. His tee time in the first round was delayed more than four hours. After starting so late, Balin was forced to play out the rest of his first round the next day, combined with his second round. Despite the bad breaks, Balin was thrilled by his experience.

"It was like a dream come true," he said. "Every golf pro dreams of playing at the highest level at some point, and to be able to play next to all the guys I grew up watching on TV was unbelievable."

Balin was one of 20 club pros that qualified for the tournament. The PGA asked him to keep a blog because he was just the second Professional Golf Management graduate to play at the PGA Championship.  Despite how he finished, Balin knows he can build on his time with the best in the game.

"It helps me want to work a little harder to get back out there," Balin said. "Hopefully, I'll learn from this year and do it a little better next time. I got a lot of encouragement from the guys I played with."

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