Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A U.S. Open and Shut Case of Chasing the Dream

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A U.S. Open and Shut Case of Chasing the Dream

Article excerpt


SARASOTA -- His threesome will be the last to tee off. By the time Michael Davan's driver meets the ball today at approximately 6:12 p.m., some of the greatest names in golf will have started the challenge of taming the Chambers Bay golf course, site of this year's U.S. Open Championship, at University Place, Washington.

Names such as Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Famous names. And one other, belonging to a 26-year- old who's making everyone at the Sarasota National Golf Club awfully proud.

"He's a typical grinder," Mark Trotter, the club's director of golf, said. "He just works hard at it and the kid has a fantastic work ethic."

An ethic that extends to cleaning Sarasota National's clubs and golf carts. Yep, for however long it lasts this week, Michael Davan's dream is pin high and in focus.

"Obviously I want to go out and compete and do the best I can and control what I can control," he said. "Stay in the present and don't get ahead of myself. That's the biggest thing I want to do this week. I think my game is good enough to compete with pretty much anyone."

This past winter was the second in the area for Davan, a native of Illinois, who played golf in junior college and, later, at Indiana University, before turning pro in October 2012. His junior college coach knew Trotter, so with Davan looking for a place in Florida to train following graduation, the coach contacted Trotter. It worked out nicely that the grandparents of Davan's future wife owned a condo on Siesta Key.

"(Trotter) asked me if I'd be up for any kind of work," Davan said. "I said, 'Yeah, that's fine. The main thing I'm down here for is to practice and get better, but I'm definitely not opposed to working.' " Last season he collected range balls. This season, about once a week, he cleaned clubs and carts. …

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