Michael Block: ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Michael Block, a club professional hailing from Southern California, has captivated the golfing world with his extraordinary performance at the PGA Championship. His remarkable journey has surpassed all expectations, propelling him into the realm of fantasy.
During the second round at Oak Hill, Block made a stunning charge, trailing the leader by just one shot. This heartwarming Friday story resulted in a T10 finish, a feat unprecedented for a club pro at the PGA Championship. Most predicted he would fade into the middle of the pack, but regardless of the outcome, it was a dream week, marking the pinnacle of his extensive competitive career.
Yet, Michael Block defied the odds by ascending the leaderboard on a soggy Saturday in western New York. At 46 years old, he shot a third-round 70, placing him in a tie for eighth position heading into the final round on Sunday.
A treasure trove of opportunities awaits Block at the end of his Oak Hill journey. A top-10 finish would secure him a spot in next month’s RBC Canadian Open, while a top-four finish would earn him an invitation to next year’s Masters. Based on the current criteria, a top-15 result would grant him a return to the PGA Championship. Furthermore, a two-way tie for third place would grant him Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR.
The very thought of these possibilities borders on the absurd. As Block concluded his media tour on Saturday evening in the twilight of Oak Hill, he received surprising news. He would be competing alongside none other than Rory McIlroy on Sunday, in the fourth-from-last pairing at 2 p.m. Eastern. A club professional in his mid-40s playing alongside a mega-star like McIlroy? The irony did not escape Block.
“If you guys had told me who I was paired with, I would have guessed Rory,” Block chuckled when discussing his Sunday pairing. “Oh my gosh.”
Michael Block’s routine between the second and third rounds appeared ordinary. On Friday night, he picked up a friend from the airport and grabbed a meal from Chick-fil-A. Saturday morning was spent watching TV at his rental house as rain poured down on Oak Hill. He then applied the advice he imparts to his students at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, focusing on how water affects the spin of the ball and the turf. His precision paid off with four birdies on Saturday, bringing his total to 13 for the week, the second-most in the field.
This precision has enabled him to overcome challenges. For the second consecutive day, Block recovered from errant shots that could have derailed his round. On Friday, a shanked mid-iron on the par-3 fifth resulted in a double bogey. On Saturday, it was a tee shot that veered wide left on the par-4 sixth, leading to another double bogey.
He encountered a leftward miss on the subsequent hole and faced a challenging 179-yard third shot from the left rough. However, he managed to find the green and sunk an 18-foot putt to save par. From there, he gained momentum.
Even when it seemed the pressure was mounting, Block refused to be overwhelmed.
“At this moment, I am absolutely blown away by this experience, but I am equally amazed at how my game has shown up,” Block expressed. “This is the game I have always possessed.”
Block acknowledges that this may be the pinnacle of his golfing journey, and he is content with that realization. He remains realistic about his standing in the game, excelling in the club professional circuits back home, earning the Southern California PGA Player of