Category - Major Events
The Block Party of the Year at the PGA Championship
By Ryan Adams, PGA
It’s a question we ask ourselves when we wonder what the possibilities are with what’s ahead. It’s rooted in positivity, a carefree phrase that oozes with opportunity. There’s no looking back when we ask, “Why not?”
Well, that makes sense if you think about how the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship materialized for one Michael Block, the PGA Head Professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, who earned the title of Low PGA Club Professional on May 21.
After capturing the golf world’s attention for the first three days with his incredible play and sauntering swagger in a couple nationally-televised walk and talks, Block turned up the volume in the final round.
First, it was the hair-raising roar from the Rochester crowd on the first tee when his name was called by PGA Vice President Don Rea at 2 p.m. ET. He was playing with Rory McIlroy, but the applause was 50 times as thunderous for him as it was for McIlroy, who sensed the moment and was chasing his own glory in a third Wanamaker Trophy.
Then the volume went higher. Literally.
Block stuffed a 7-iron right into the cup on the par-3, 15th hole at 151 yards, making his first-ever career ace in a tournament. The fans were in a frenzy — the folk hero they had grown to love over the last few days had just presented them with the Championship’s iconic moment.
And then it was onto 18, where a berth in next year’s PGA Championship was on the line — a par would do it. Block pulled his second shot into the crowd left of the green, where the fans were a lot warmer than his lie.
Queue more magic — Block hacked it out of the thick rough and onto the green, then sunk the par putt for a 1-over 71. A ticket punched to Valhalla for next year’s PGA, Rochester royalty and a lifelong goal of holding the Low PGA Professional crystal finally accomplished.
“It’s the most surreal moment of my life,” Block said after his round. “It’s amazing. I’m living the dream. Cheers to the 29,000 PGA Professionals — this is for you guys.”