Club pro Michael Block aces way into 2024 PGA alongside Rory McIlroy
The Michael Block Cinderella story never stopped getting better.
The club pro already had an improbable week, finding himself paired with Rory McIlroy in the PGA Championship's final round. Then, with his magical four rounds winding down, Block stepped up to Oak Hill's 151-yard, par-3 15th with a 7-iron — and that was the only swing he'd need on the hole.
Just like his reaction on Saturday night when he found out he'd be playing with McIlroy on Sunday, Block was in disbelief that he just dunked a hole-in-one — the first he's ever had in competition.
"No, way ... Rory, did it go in?" Block said moments afterward.
And he asked the four-time major champion that question a few more times.
"[McIlroy] had to tell me five times that I made it," Block said after his round. "So it was a pretty cool experience to have Rory be telling me that I made a hole-in-one in front of God knows how many people that were supporting me."
Take a bow, Michael Block.pic.twitter.com/7elpIr75mj https://t.co/AvISpb3WOg
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) May 21, 2023
The ace moved the 46-year-old Californian, who charges $150 a lesson at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, to even par.
"It was an amazing golf shot," McIlroy said afterward. "That hole has sort of given me fits all week. I haven't really liked the look of it, and Michael stands up and hits this lovely little drawback into off the left wind, and you know, ball goes straight in the hole. It was I guess sort of when it's your week, it's your week in a way, and you know, I think with the way the week's went for him, it was a fitting way to cap off his PGA Championship."
No matter how he fared on his final three holes, Block's week would still forever live in major championship lore. However, he had one more heroic in him — which notched him a top 15 finish to qualify for next year's PGA at Valhalla.
Block's approach on his 72nd hole landed in the gallery, left of the hole. But he knocked his chip several feet from the hole and made a clutch par putt to place T-15.
He's not done yet. 🔥 Michael Block with the save on 18. #PGAChamp | @scpga pic.twitter.com/MOMnFV0WUD
— PGA of America (@PGA) May 21, 2023
"If you put me on 18 hitting my third shot from that 40 yards, sidehill lie out of the rough to a tight pin on 18, and you're telling me I'm going to get up-and-down on both of those to make next year's PGA Championship, there's no way in God's green earth I would have done it."
But he did. And now, Block hopes to continue his Cinderella run in the short term, accepting a sponsor's invite following his round into next week's Tour event at Colonial.
"When I go play Colonial next week, it's not going to feel like a down," he said, "but it's going to be like, 'No problem, right?' Compared to what I just did the last couple days.
"So I'm comfortable. I'm happy. I'm kind of built for this."