An Unknown Club Pro Is Golf's New Darling

Michael Block's hole-in-one at PGA Championship is only part of the reason why
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 1:00 AM CDT

Yes, Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship on Sunday for his fifth major title, reports ESPN. But a club pro by the name of Michael Block may have stolen the show. The 46-year-old makes his living not on the pro tour but by giving lessons for $125 apiece back home at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, per the AP. On Sunday, he tied for 15th, good for a $290,000 payday. The underdog Block became a fan favorite during the week at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York—and that was before he hit a hole-in-one Sunday on the 15th hole. Watch the moment here.

"That didn't go in did it?" Block asked. "No. No. No way. Rory, did it go in?" He had posed the question to his playing partner, Rory McIlroy. (The previous day, the PGA released this video of an incredulous Block learning that he would be paired up on Sunday with the four-time major champion. "Are you serious?" he asked.) Block finished the tournament one over par, only 10 shots behind the first-place Koepka.

"The most surreal moment I've ever had in my life," Block said after his final round. "I'm living a dream and making sure I'm enjoying the moment. Not getting any better than this—no way in hell." As the New York Times notes, the PGA Championship is unique in that it allows 20 club pros—members of the PGA of America—to play each year. Block not only qualified for this year's tournament, he was the only one of the 20 to make the cut after Friday. Bonus: Because of his 15th-place finish—cinched by a tough par putt on the very last hole—he also gets an automatic invite to play in next year's PGA Championship. (More PGA Championship stories.)

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