Offsite News Article
Charlie Danielson to wrap up amateur career with two huge events
by Ron Jasperson
Jun 14, 2016
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Sometimes it takes a little adversity to make you realize how much you want something. Osceola’s Charlie Danielson is on the cusp of turning pro in golf but at one time he didn’t know how much the game meant to him.
“I never loved golf until I had my two knee surgeries in middle school,” Danielson said. “Being away from the game for so long made me realize how lucky I was to play it.”
Once he realized how much he wanted to play the sport and he recovered from the surgeries, his game went on the fast track towards excellence. As a freshman in high school at Osceola he made it to Sectionals but lost in a playoff to qualify for State.He then went on to win State two of the next three years, finishing second in the other season.
After high school he attended college at the University of Illinois where he wanted to link up with Illini coach Mike Small. It was a good match for both Danielson and Small. In each year at Illinois Danielson earned All-American status including first team this year. Other awards during his illustrious college career include Big Ten player of the year and two-time winner of the Les Bolstad award which is given to the player with the lowest stroke average in Big Ten play. He also received the Big Ten Medal of Honor at Illinois which is earned through a combination of academics and athletics. He is a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus award and the Byron Nelson award.
Before Danielson says goodbye to his amateur career he has a couple of huge events to take part for the U.S Open which will be held in Oakmont, Penn. this weekend, beginning June 16. He will be competing against the best in the world and is hoping to be golfing during Sunday’s final round.
“I want to make the weekend cut and take low amateur in the field,” Danielson said when discussing his goals.
After the U.S Open Danielson will pack his bags for the Palmer Cup held in Formby, England, just north of Liverpool. Here the best college amateurs from Europe will match up against Danielson and the best college golfers from the United States. What makes the Palmer Cup so important to Danielson?
“A chance to represent the United States is an opportunity I could not pass up,” Danielson said.
After the Palmer Cup, Danielson plans on turning pro. He already has an exemption to compete in the John Deere classic in Silvis, Ill. in August. He is waiting to hear about other possible exemptions.
The dream of golfing on the world’s biggest stages began early for Danielson. Like many young athletes he dreamed of someday turning pro. Obviously for most it is only a dream. For Danielson reality is knocking at the door.
“When I was younger it was definitely a dream of mine, always envisioning putts to win the Masters or US Open,” Danielson said. “But once I started having success in the college level and I could compete with some of the best amateurs in the world, I started believing in my ability and knew it was possible.”
Time will tell how well Danielson will compete against the best players in the world but he has risen to the top no matter what the competition has been. Don’t bet against him achieving success as he takes the next step in his golfing life. No matter where or when he competes he knows that he has a great support group to lean on.
“The support from my family has been incredible, whether it’s coming to tournaments or texting me after every round,” Danielson said, “and they’ve always pushed me to be the best I can.”
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