While Brooks Koepka rightfully stole the highlights this weekend in Rochester, Block's story is something to celebrate. PIC: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
We're reminded nearly every weekend how special the game of golf is. There is truly no better feeling than sitting on the couch after a Sunday afternoon lunch, bellies full and mind exhausted from the weekend. You flip on the TV and hear the all-too-familiar "Hello, Friends" from Jim Nantz. You may doze off, you may continue your heated debate with a cousin at the dinner table on if your favorite baseball or football team will have a good year ahead, or you may just listen to your grandfather talk about how much sports have changed since he got his first TV tens of years before you were even a thought.
And - of course - there is always at least one incredible story per weekend. Michael Block was that story at the 2023 PGA Championship.
Block, a 46-year-old, teaches golf lessons at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Orange County, California. While his "day job" is mentoring the next wave of golfers, he's played in two U.S. Open tournaments and four PGA Championships before, never withstanding the final cut.
Things changed for Block this weekend. He not only made the cut, but his +1 finish garnered him a spot in the Top 15 for the first time ever. Not only will he go home with about $300,000, per sources, but he's also already received an invite to the 2024 PGA Championship as well as next week's Charles Schwab Challenge.
Block played well all week, finishing at even par in all of his first three rounds. But most certainly his highlight of the weekend was acing the 15th hole in the home stretches.
Block's Top 15 finish marked the only of the 20 PGA Head Professionals to even make the cut at Oak Hill East Golf Course in Rochester, New York this weekend. He finished ahead of notable golf names Patrick Reed (+2), Xander Schauffele (+2), Jordan Spieth (+5), reigning Masters winner Jon Rahm (+7), and long-ball master Dustin Johnson (+10).
“I’ve learned at this point to enjoy the moment, to sit back and relax and enjoy it because it goes by fast, and life goes by fast," Block told the media. "Before you know it, you’re 60 years old and retired and look back at the videos on this and remember that was the best week of my life, and more than likely this is probably going to be the best week of my life. So I’m going to sit back as much as I can with my friends and family at the house we rented and watch the videos tonight and see all my new followers on Instagram. It’s been crazy, it’s been awesome.”
At the moment, there's not a better feel-good story in golf than this one. A head golf pro had a weekend that the golf community will never forget.