A sport like golf can take a lifetime to master, but Danny Balin needed just a little more than a decade to get to one of the biggest stages in the golf world. Balin grew up in the Washington, D.C., area playing soccer and took up golf as a hobby at age 13. When he left for college, he had to decide between the two sports and chose golf. Now, at age 28, Balin will play alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
"This is something that every kid playing golf dreams of," said Balin, the junior golf instructor at Burning Tree Country Club. "It hasn't totally hit me yet, but I'm sure when I get out there, there will be some nerves and excitement going on. It'll be fun."
Balin qualified for the PGA Championship after finishing fourth in the PGA Professional National Championship in French Lick, Ind. The top 20 finishers in the tournament, club pros from courses all over the country, qualified.
"My work schedule doesn't really allow me to get out and travel until the winter, and in the winter there aren't any PGA tour events," Balin said. "So a goal of mine as a club pro was to make the Professional National Championship...because that's the way a club pro can make it to a major PGA tour event."
Balin said he is excited to have his family and friends from Maryland come watch him play "inside the ropes."
"It's going to be awesome and it's going to test my game," Balin said. "I'm going to see if I can make the cut against the best golfers in the world."
The PGA Championship begins August 12 and will air on TNT and CBS.
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