GREENWICH, Conn. – Danny Balin of Greenwich will play on one of golf’s biggest stages for the third straight year beginning Thursday.
Balin, an assistant pro at Burning Tree Country Club, once again qualified for the PGA Championship after making the cut at the PGA Professional National Championship. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., is hosting the PGA Championship.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot. I can’t wait to get going down there,” Balin said. “I’m just trying to get the ticket situation figured out for everybody.”
Unlike his first trip to the PGA Championship in 2010, when he was unfamiliar with Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, Balin has played the Ocean Course five times. But he still expects it to be the toughest round of golf he’ll play all year.
“There’s a reason it’s ranked the hardest golf course in the country,” Balin said. “You just try to prepare for it like you would any other golf tournament.”
But it’s not just any other tournament when hundreds of spectators line each hole. With two trips to the PGA Championship under his belt, Balin knows what to expect from the crowd and the media.
“The guys who play [on the PGA Tour] are a little more used to it than I am,” he said. “I’ve had a little experience with it now. Hopefully, I can just put the circus aside, stick to my game and play the best I can.”
Balin will look to improve upon his previous two trips. He averaged a plus-five 77 at Whistling Straits in 2010 and a plus-eight 80 at the Atlanta Athletic Club last year. He missed the qualifying cut after two rounds both years.
Balin recently finished in third place at the Connecticut Open, held at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien.
He was featured in a series of instructional videos last summer on The Daily Voice's Fairfield County sites.