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Danny Balin ready to seize his ‘lucky’ U.S. Open chance

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Danny Balin ready to seize his ‘lucky’ U.S. Open chance

Danny Balin has qualified for the PGA Championship six times, most recently for last month’s event at Harding Park in San Francisco. And all six times he’s failed to make the cut.

This week, Balin, the head pro at Fresh Meadow Country Club on Long Island and the only Met-Area club pro in the field, will be gunning to make a US Open cut at Winged Foot, a course he estimates he’s played 50 to 60 times.

The thought of making the cut at a major championship in his backyard — Balin lives in White Plains — is tantalizing to him.

“It would be like a celebration of my career, to represent all the clubs that I’ve worked for and all the members that I have been around,’’ the 38-year-old Balin told The Post. “Yeah, I was born in Maryland, but I’ve been here in Westchester for 17 years now, so this is my home. I’ve created a home here for myself. To be able to do it with everybody watching would just be awesome.’’

Monday and Tuesday, Balin has the distinction of having Michael O’Keefe, the actor who played Danny Noonan in “Caddychack,’’ carry his bag during practice rounds. They went off the back nine Monday morning for some practice, with O’Keefe donning a red “Bushwood’’ cap, and they’ll will do it again Tuesday before Balin’s tournament caddie takes over.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Balin was automatically qualified for both the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. In fact, he got word of being exempt into the two majors about a day apart with calls from the PGA of America and the USGA.

Both tournaments took the top three players from the 2019 PGA Club Pro Player of the Year list, because the 2020 season had been canceled by the pandemic.

“I feel like I played well in 2019 and earned my way, but I got lucky to be able to be granted an exemption into the U.S. Open,’’ he said.

Balin, for several reasons, believes he has a better chance to succeed this week than he did at Harding Park, a course he’d never played. At that time, Balin said he was so busy with work at Fresh Meadow that he had little time to play and prepare for the PGA.

“The golf course was really difficult,’’ Balin said of Harding Park. “I hadn’t had a lot of time to practice and I shot 74-76. I know I missed the cut, but given the fact that I hadn’t practiced a lot and hadn’t played a lot, I was pretty happy with that. I’m fine with how I played. It was a little bit more of a vacation given the pandemic situation we’ve had going on.

“The U.S. Open, not that I’m taking it more seriously, but I’m trying to prepare a little bit more. Work at the club slowed down a little bit, so it gave me time to focus on myself and my game to get ready.’’

Balin, too, believes the home-game factor can do nothing but benefit him.

“It’s great being able to come home and see my daughter and my fiancée, have home-cooked meals, sleep in my own bed,’’ he said. “The comfortability of that really helps your confidence. Also, being comfortable with the golf course helps. I’ve played 50 or 60 rounds on the golf course, so it’s not something new to me. So being so comfortable with the golf course and having familiarity of Winged Foot is going to be great.

“It’s going to be very special, knowing Winged Foot, knowing a lot of the members there, being good friends with Mike Gilmore, the head pro.’’

Expectations?

“Always my expectations are to make the cut, but at Winged Foot if I can just drive the ball straight … it’s key to put the driver in the fairway,’’ Balin said. “If I can just hit it straight like I normally do, I think I’ll have a chance to be around on the weekend. And — who knows? — maybe something better.’’

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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WATCH: When Kyle Busch Got into a Brawl with Joey Logano at Las Vegas

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WATCH: When Kyle Busch Got into a Brawl with Joey Logano at Las Vegas

In NASCAR, red mist is highly prevalent in the paddock and most drivers succumb when push comes to shove. Back at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Joey Logano managed to get on the bad side of Kyle Busch.

However, this is not the first time that the two have tangled. Ahead of the 2020 NASCAR playoff race at Las Vegas, there was an incident involving the two. During the 2017 edition of the race, as it turned out, Logano got a little loose and tagged Busch into a spin.

This heavily compromised the #18 car’s race, and he was absolutely livid. Later on in parc ferme, a furious Kyle Busch stormed up to Logano and attempted to punch him. After a brief scuffle, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was escorted away with blood dripping off his forehead.

ALSO READ- “He’s Nobody’s Friend”- Kyle Busch Expresses His Frustration at Joey Logano

What did Kyle Busch and Joey Logano say about the incident?

Logano tried to play it off and insisted that he was simply racing hard. The driver also confirmed that no blows landed on him. He confessed, “Usually we never have any issues. He tried to pin me hard down there into the corner.

“I was going to spin out, so I tried to chase it up. And he was there. It was nothing intentional, but obviously he thinks that.”

However, Busch had a different take on the matter. He declared that Logano simply drove straight through the corner and wrecked him.

As mentioned before, the 2017 incident was just one of a few exchanges between the two drivers. At the 2020 Bristol race, Kyle Busch was leading when he came up to lap Logano. Unfortunately, the #22 driver was highly uncooperative, and it allowed Kevin Harvick to become an even bigger threat.

Busch declared that Logano was nobody’s friend for ‘a reason’. In response, Logano said, “Now let me tell you something. I have zero friends on the racetrack, zero. Because I have ‘business relationships’.

“That’s what they are out there, and I hope it to be good ones. We’re all competing to try to win. They’re going against me. No friend is gonna do that.”

ALSO READ- “Zero Friends on the Race Track”- Joey Logano Reacts to Kyle Busch Calling him ‘Nobody’s Friend’

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Roger Federer’s Tournament Relocates to his Favorite City

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Roger Federer’s Tournament Relocates to his Favorite City

The Laver Cup 2022 will be played in London with the O2 as the official venue. Roger Federer, former Davis Cup player Jorge Paulo Lemann, and Tennis Australia united to create the Cup in 2017. The Laver Cup 2022 will be the fifth edition of the tournament, whose inaugural edition took place in Prague.

“The British fans love their tennis and the Laver Cup is like nothing they have seen before. London has always held a special place in my heart and it’s going to be incredible to bring the Laver Cup to one of my favorite cities in the world,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer.

The Laver Cup did not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be played in Boston in 2021 next September.

‘Laver Cup brings together the top players in the world’- Roger Federer

Named after the Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the Laver Cup takes place between 2 teams: Team Europe and Team World. It takes place in an indoor hard court just weeks after the US Open gets over. It is a 3-day competition where the top 6 players of Europe compete with the best 6 players of the rest of the world.

“I know the British fans will love it. Laver Cup brings together the top players in the world while paying respect and recognition to the legends of our game,” added the Swiss Maestro.

What adds charm to the wonderful news is that the O2 arena is the official venue of the Laver Cup 2022. It is the same O2 arena that has organized events related to both sports and entertainment. With a sitting capacity of about 20,000 people, it has also hosted numerous ATP Tour finals.

Laver Cup Chairman Tony Godsick welcomed the news and said, “We’re so excited to be bringing the Laver Cup to London, a city steeped in tennis heritage.” The Mayor of London also felt pleased and remarked that it was an honor for London to host the Laver Cup 2022.

Team Europe has won all the 3 editions so far. The Laver Cup has received a great response from fans since its very inception. Fans expect that London will only take the standards and the ratings of the tournament even higher.

Also Read: Roger Federer reiterates the importance of wife Mirka in his life

 

 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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“There are Trigger Points”- Christian Horner Sheds Light on Red Bull Contract Details

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"There are Trigger Points"- Christian Horner Sheds Light on Red Bull Contract Details

Alex Albon had a tough time at Red Bull during his initial days. However, the driver has worked hard and recovered for the better. His win at Mugello is a testament to his dedication. Unlike Gasly, Albon has successfully recovered from the problems he faced with his car.

Red Bull chief clears the air over Albon’s contract

The Mugello podium has instilled a new zeal in the Anglo-Thai racer, and rightly so. He seems inspired enough to carry on with Red Bull for 2021.

There has been a fleeting rumor of Gasly being called back in the team after his win at Monza. However, the nature of that news seems like nothing more than a rumor.

Not to take anything away from the challenge that the young Frenchman mounted at Monza, the team knows that Gasly’s win was a mere coincidence in a line of bizarre incidents. Horner further clarified that they are keen to continue with Albon.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2020 Red Bull’s Alexander Albon during practice Bryn Lennon/Pool via REUTERS

Our intention is to retain Alex, he’s doing a good job. He just needs to build on the kind of performance as he put it in Mugello and continue that development.”

As there were a lot of apprehensions regarding Albon’s contract, Horner saw it fit to clear the cloud over it.

It’ll certainly be before Christmas! All drivers under contract to Red Bull for multiple years; There are trigger points at different times in their contract but it’ll certainly be later in the autumn,” replied Horner.

READ MORE- “Alex Got in and Scored More”- Christian Horner Rejects Gasly’s Excuses for Poor Red Bull Form

Albon will have to perform to remain in the team

The team Chief also clarified that though they trust Albon, he will have to develop to keep his contract. Red Bull has informed him about the areas in the contract which could lead to a replacement, and if need be, they will not hesitate.

“Our intention is absolutely to retain our current drivers, and Alex is our preferred choice. Inevitably, you have to be aware of what the other options are out there. But our absolute preference and likelihood is to retain the existing driver line-up that we currently have.”

Red Bull has forever been a competitive team. Therefore, if they think Max Verstappen needs better competition within the team, they will provide him with that one way or the other. Therefore, Albon has his work cut out for him.

READ MORE- “F1 Shouldn’t Be Scared” – Red Bull Boss Suggests Ways to Trial ‘Reverse-Grid’ Races Amidst Mercedes Backlash

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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