HomeSportsThe journey has just begun for US PGA hole-in-one hero Michael Block

The journey has just begun for US PGA hole-in-one hero Michael Block

Michael Block of the United States, PGA of America club professional, reacts on the 18th green during the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 21, 2023 – Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox

Michael Block woke up and sobbed Monday in his tenement home near Oak Hill Country Club. These were tears of joy, as he reflected on day four That, at age 46, has changed his life.

The effects of his tie for 15th, highlighted by a slam dunk hole-in-one in the company of Rory McIlroy on Sunday, have been immediate and not just because he raised almost £250,000, more than triple his previous biggest pay day. was more than

He was due back at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Saddleback Valley, California, on Tuesday to give $150 lessons to members as the club’s head professional.

“I’m sure they’ll understand we’ll have to reschedule,” Block said. Instead, he was flying to Fort Worth, Texas to compete once again with the great and the good. About an hour after he and McIlroy hugged on the 18th green, Block received an invitation from the PGA Tour to play in the $9 million Charles Schwab Challenge, a famous event starting Thursday at Colonial.

Sponsors who know a crowd-puller and a social-media sensation when they watch the Canadian Open in another two weeks’ time, which McIlroy will defend, have also sent out invitations. National television networks are also calling.

He was on the block on CNN’s morning show on Mondays and was being asked to appear on late night talk shows. For a veteran of the Southern California PGA circuit without a manager – “though I do have a pro shop assistant” – this is beyond comprehension.

“My wife had never seen me cry outside in my life until this week and I literally woke up crying in my bed this morning,” he said. “It was so crazy.”

Block is a natural performer and knows how to play the interviewers. He understands his new role as the American dream, as playing Cinderella, as Rocky in slacks. CNN reports he referred to his ace on the 15th – his only of the week at Oak Hill – as “my Tin Cup moment”. Of course, that was the movie that starred Kevin Costner as the struggling club supporter who won the nation’s hearts with his heroic performance at the US Open.

Block’s own story is Hollywood material and because of that, fans will be pleased to know that the Netflix cameras are in full swing rolling up to their fairy tale for the second series. They will follow him to Colonial and then to Toronto and the tournament organizers are already smart money on repeating that delicious pairing with McIlroy.

It will be interesting to see which brands he endorses till then as he is a hot property. A few Top 10s in the next month and he could earn himself a PGA Tour card, although he’s stuck to a humble script on that score so far.

“No, I don’t want to play any Tour,” Block said. “I just want to come out and compete when I’m around and then go back to my club and hang out with my family.”

The timing of the block is perfect. Not only does it fizzle out in the way he kills those kids, but it rattles the consciousness of the game right when it grapples with its own existential crisis. In all the rancor and recriminations that led to the formation of LIV Golf – ready to celebrate with the Saudi-funded circuit Brooks Koepka’s Historic Win At his $25 million tournament in Washington DC this week – Block is the feelgood story the game needs.

Celebration and disbelief surround as Rory McIlroy celebrates with the block after his memorable ace - Getty Images / Andrew Reddington

Celebration and disbelief surround as Rory McIlroy celebrates with the block after his memorable ace – Getty Images / Andrew Reddington

He exemplifies the joy that golf can bring, how its unique nature can see cult heroes play alongside superstars – and beat them. Block is every man on the fairway, representative of all the quality players around the world who know they could grace the big stage, if only they had a shot.

“I was made for this, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I think I proved it with a 15th in a major — I mean, that boggles my mind. I didn’t think about it until now, but I finished 15th in a major.” achieved the position.”

His outrageous upturn at the last meant he was booked into next year’s US PGA at Kentucky and by then he would have become a household name. The truth may be that he has more in common with Rory McIlroy than Tin Cup pro Roy McAvoy – as he has already appeared in 27 PGA Tour events and regularly tied with world No. 4 Patrick Cantlay. Plays practice rounds at home.

Yet he and America will not allow any fact to spoil the fantasy. These were definitely not the tears of a clown.

Block said, “If it means anything, the one thing in the world that makes me cry is golf.” “If it’s in terms of how much I love the game, now you know. It’s everything to me. Obviously I love my family and everything else and my job and everything, But golf is my life. I live it, breathe it.”

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