Category - Major Events
An Epic Day at the PGA for Michael Block
By Ryan Adams, PGA
Michael Block said earlier this week on a walk ‘n’ talk down Oak Hill’s 14th hole with ESPN that he had one goal left to “check off” in his playing career.
Be the Low PGA Professional at a PGA Championship.
And after three days traversing the challenges of Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course in Rochester, New York, Block is not only accomplishing his goal.
He’s living the dream.
Playing alongside Justin Rose in the third round of the PGA Championship, Block was jolly, sauntering along the East Course like he had nothing to lose. In his own words, he was “spiraling upwards.”
The PGA Head Professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, was trading birdies with Justin Rose throughout the day, having fun even in the pouring rain that was present all day during the third round. Posting a final round 70 complete with four birdies, Block is sizing up a historic final day at Oak Hill: with a 10th place finish or better, he’d record the best finish ever by a PGA Professional in a PGA Championship.
Tommy Aycock and Lonnie Nielsen both finished tied for 11th in 1974 and ‘86, respectively. Bob Boyd was the last PGA Professional to be among the top 10 on the leaderboard after 54 holes in 1990 at Shoal Creek — he was T-10 after three rounds and ended up T-19, making Block the first PGA Member in decades to potentially crack the top 15.
What’s been even more fascinating to watch is how Block has seemingly relished being in the spotlight. He did another walk ‘n’ talk on No. 14 — this time on national TV — with Jim Nantz and the CBS Sports crew, not shying away from any question.
And then he went and birdied the hole. And the next one.
Hopefully more will come Sunday when Block continues this magical week in Rochester, but in his eyes he’s already accomplished what he set out to do.
The rest is just part of PGA Championship history.