GREENWICH, Conn. Greenwichs Danny Balin has emerged as the best golfer in the tri-state area with a stunning five Metropolitan Professional Golf Association tournament victories and a third straight invite to the PGA Championship this year.
Balin, 30, has won three Met PGA tournaments in a row, with his most recent victory at the Lincoln Met PGA Championship. He has racked up more than $100,000 in winnings and is almost certainly a lock to win his third straight Met PGA Player of the Year Award as he leads the standings by more than 2,000 points.
He has found a flair for the dramatic as well, coming from behind to win the last three tournaments. Balin erased a seven-stroke deficit to win the Met Open Championship, shot a four-under final round to snag the Met PGA Championship and survived a three-hole playoff to take the Met Assistant Championship.
Its been a great summer and now fall for me, Balin said in a recent phone interview. Im just finishing off tournaments after getting close the last few years. I had a lot of second and thirds before, but closing out feels good.
A native of Rockville, Md., and a graduate of Penn State University, Balin has worked hard since moving to Greenwich to improve his game and qualify for more PGA Tour events. He has traveled the country, grinding out wins and gaining recognition. His diligence seems to be paying off.
Im still practicing hard and working a lot on my putting, Balin said. I just try to stay in on every shot, knowing that the next shot is just as important as the last shot.
Balin has qualified for the PGA Championship the last three years as a teaching professional invitee but has yet to qualify for the final two rounds.
With the tri-state area conquered, Balin is hoping to qualify for more PGA Tour events next year. He will compete in several tournaments in the PGA Q-School this November and December with a chance to earn a tour card, or membership on the PGA Tour.
Its tough to qualify because there are 150 to 300 people trying to get between four and 14 spots, he said. Im just going to keeping trying to play some good golf and hopefully get status on the PGA Tour.
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