PGA Championship: Michael Block hits wild ace to end dream week at Oak Hill
Michael Block dunked it on the 15th on Sunday at Oak Hill
Michael Block’s dream week at the PGA Championship didn’t end after 54 holes.
The 46-year-old teaching pro had one last major moment in him on Sunday afternoon.
Block pulled out a slam-dunk hole-in-one at the par-3 15th at Oak Hill Country Club on Sunday, ending what has been a life-changing week at the second major championship of the year.
Block’s shot on the 151-yard hole was right on the mark. The ball landed right in the hole, and left him stunned on the tee box with playing partner Rory McIlroy as fans lost it around them.
MICHAEL BLOCK DRILLS THE ACE 🎯
Nothing but the bottom of the cup on the 15th! pic.twitter.com/63vogSPoXg
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 21, 2023
The dream continues. Take it all in, Mr. Block. #PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/dziQnibQvZ
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 21, 2023
“I couldn’t really see it,” Block said on CBS. “I knew it hit the pin, but I had no idea that it went in … Then Rory comes over and gives me a hug and I’m like, ‘Why is Rory giving me a hug if I’m hitting it close, right? That’s kind of weird.’”
Block was then brought to tears on CBS after watching the reaction from his home club.
"BLOCKIE! BLOCKIE! BLOCKIE!"
Michael Block's home club Arroyo Trabuco erupted after seeing his ace! pic.twitter.com/XYy9H9igwC pic.twitter.com/mNLb4uO4L0
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 21, 2023
"I'm living the dream," Block said. "I'm making sure that I enjoy this moment. I've learned that after my 46 years of life that it's not going to get better than this. There's no way. No chance in hell. So I'm going to enjoy this, and thank you."
"I'm living a dream. I'm making sure that I enjoy this moment. I've learned that after my 46 years of life, it's not going to get better than this. There's no way."
Michael Block is cherishing every moment of a storybook PGA Championship. pic.twitter.com/dUxVD6jMmM
— Golf on CBS ⛳ (@GolfonCBS) May 21, 2023
The shot was the first ace at the PGA Championship since Ben An did so in 2020. It also got Block back to even par on the day, and led him to his final-round 71.
Michael Block ends historic, life-changing week at PGA Championship
That shot was the perfect ending to Block’s week in Rochester, New York.
As a teaching pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, Block hasn’t competed much at this level before. He has made the cut just four times in 24 PGA events since 2007 — most recently at the 2015 Barbasol Championship, where he finished in 71st. Before this week, he’d never made a cut at a major championship.
Block already made history even before Sunday’s round, too. He was the first PGA club pro to sit inside the top 10 after 54 holes at the event since Bob Boyd did so in 1990. The best finish ever came from Tommy Aycock in 1974 and Lonnie Nelson in 1986. They both finished T11 at their respective events.
And with the biggest round of his life ahead of him on Sunday, having carded three straight 70s in the first three rounds, Block was completely relaxed as he stepped up to the first tee — even knowing that McIlroy, who he said would be a dream to play alongside, was with him.
Instead of just getting a calm night’s sleep on Saturday following his third straight even par round of the major championship, Block went to celebrate.
Michael Block is T8 at the PGA Championship and paired with Rory McIlroy tomorrow.
He’s also at Pittsford Pub tonight near Oak Hill. #ManOfThePeople #TheBlockParty pic.twitter.com/bFoDneJt9I
— John Nucci (@JNucci23) May 21, 2023
“I can compete with these guys, to be honest,” he said on Saturday night. “I can compete against them. I can hang … Being around these guys, what I’ve learned to do is commit, be confident and play your game.”
That attitude, shown yet again by the “WHY NOT?” written on his personalized golf ball, more than paid off. Block finished with a 1-over 71 on Sunday. The hole-in-one at the 15th was critical in that, too. Block made two bogeys on his front nine, which were quickly erased after the ace. He bogeyed the next hole, but finished with two more pars the rest of the way — including an incredible up-and-down save at the 18th — to finish 1-over on the week.
Naturally, Block was very emotional as he walked off the 18th green.
Michael Block qualifies for the 2024 PGA Championship with a top-15 finish. pic.twitter.com/s02sHfwlbM
— Golf on CBS ⛳ (@GolfonCBS) May 21, 2023
Block revealed on Saturday that the most he’s ever made playing was $75,000. His T15 finish on Sunday will smash that previous record. For a guy who charges just $150 for an hour-long lesson, that's incredibly impressive
The T15 finish was enough to earn Block a spot into next year's PGA Championship. He was also invited to play in the Charles Schwab Challenge on a sponsor exemption, too.
While he didn’t end up lifting the Wanamaker Trophy, Block is the big winner of the week in New York. There’s no disputing that.