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U. of Illinois golfer Charlie Danielson: Recap of his Northern Trust Open Experience
Charlie Danielson, shown during Monday's NT Collegiate Showcase<br>AmateurGolf.com Photo
Charlie Danielson, shown during Monday's NT Collegiate Showcase
AmateurGolf.com Photo
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Feb. 21, 2016) -- After a whirlwind week that included a stellar 68 in qualifying on Monday (winning the Collegiate Showcase and his spot in the tournament) it would be understandable if Charlie Danielson was a bit tired at the end of the week.

There were practice rounds with his golfing idols - players like Steve Stricker, and then there was the first round 67 (one better than his qualifying round score) that put the U. of Illinois player at T5 on the leaderboard as he went to bed pondering the possibilities. He fired 72 to make the cut, then 73 in the third round.

On Sunday, Danielson went out in 36 but came back in a disappointing 41 to finish T72. For a golfer that arrived at Riviera on Monday to play there only his second time, we'd say he had a pretty good week.

ROUND TWO STORY

After two rounds in the 60's already this week, could things have gotten any better for University of Illinois Senior Charlie Danielson?

On Monday he fired 68 to win a spot in the tournament, during the Northern Trust Collegiate Showcase. And yesterday, he fired a nearly flawless round of 4-under 67, placing the Osceola, Wisconsin native at T5 in a star-studded PGA Tour event where a statue of Ben Hogan graces the putting green.

And then came his start today.

Danielson boomed a 295-yard tee shot, 212-yard second shot, and 9 foot putt for an eagle on the first hole at Riviera. Because he was playing in the afternoon there were already named players like Dustin Johnson well ahead of him, but it had to feel good. A bogey followed, but Danielson posted 1-under 34 on the front nine, before taking a bogey on the short 10th.

No problem, he was still 4-under at that point with the cut likely to fall at even par. But at the 12th, Danielson missed and took double-bogey after landing his second shot in the front bunker. That took him too close to even par for comfort, but after going birdie-par-bogey and scoring pars on the last three, Danielson is at 3- under and looking for a solid weekend in his first PGA Tour event.

We know he'll have fun.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Feb. 18, 2016) -- On Monday, University of Illinois golfer Charlie Danielson birdied his last hole, with coach Mike Small on the bag, to fire 68 and grab a spot in the Northern Trust Open. That berth came courtesy the Northern Trust Collegiate Showcase, an event founded by Tournament Director OD Vincent (a former coach of UCLA, Duke, and Washington) and Northern Trust.

The next day, Danielson was playing a practice round with Steve Stricker (a fellow Wisconsinite) and Scott Langley, who he partnered with on Monday in the Showcase (and who could not give him any advice that day).

The entire experience could be overwhelming for a golfer who has never played a PGA Tour event, let alone one from a small town in Wisconsin (Osceola, population 2568). But Danielson is a pretty laid-back guy with a great attitude. We spoke with him Monday after he won the Collegiate Showcase, and he sent us an email the next day thanking us for the story.

As for the experience?

"It's pretty humbling," Danielson told PGATour.com. "I'm honored. These are the best players in the world, and to compete with them on such a great golf course, and championship-style golf course, is pretty thrilling."

Evidently the Tour players were able to give some advice today, and Danielson likes Riviera. He went out on the back nine with two-straight birdies, settled down with two-straight bogeys, then made a birdie on 16 to finish at 1-under and turning to his second nine, the front. He birdied the first, a par-5 with an exhilarating tee shot from the clubhouse level to a fairway seemingly several stories below. Three more birdies and a lone bogey coming in gave Danielson a round one better than he posted in qualifying, a 4-under 67. As for his first tee shot, on the short par-4 10th hole today, Danielson told PGATour.com:

"I was nervous [today]. "I would say I was just as nervous for the practice round when all those pros are up there watching you tee off on 1. But luckily I had an iron in my hand, so I knew that I had a pretty wide fairway."

At the end of the day, Danielson wasn't just a player in the field of a PGA Tour event, he's tied for 5th.

His goals remain the same.

"I am going to go in tomorrow and have fun and whether I have a bad round or a good round or mediocre round, nothing is going to change," he said. "I'm just here for the experience and I'm here to play well."

NOTE:

2016 marks the second year for the Northern Trust Collegiate Showcase. Last year Will Zalatoris of Wake Forest qualified, but failed to make the 36-hole cut.

View results for Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase

ABOUT THE Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase

The Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase was founded in 2015, when Will Zalatoris of Wake Forest won the individual title and a chance to play the PGA Tour event the same week. In 2016 it was Charlie Danielson of Illinois who won his entry into the tournament at Riviera, where he easily made the cut as an amateur collegiate player.

In the Collegiate Showcase, fourteen collegiate players are paired with PGA Tour players from their school. Two simultaneous competitions take place:

In the individual competition, the collegiate players will play their own ball to record an 18-hole score. The low collegian is awarded a playing spot in the Northern Trust Open.

In the team competition, the professional and the two amateurs (playing at specified percentage of their most current and verified handicap) will team up to play a best ball format (one-ball). The low Professional and Amateurs team will take home the Champions Trophy for their school and a check for $50,000.00, going to their universities golf program.

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