PGA Championship: Available for lessons from $125, 46-year-old Michael Block is making waves at Oak Hill

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Michael Block plays his third tee shot during round two of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.



CNN

As the golfer in the mustard hood left the 18th green, the camera crew and fans scrambled for center.

He posed for selfies and signed autographs before making his way to the Oak Hill Club to score a second round score that left it just four shots off the lead at PGA Championship.

It’s the kind of fanfare – and result – that usually follows the game’s biggest stars, several big name winners like Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas.

But when Michael Block was 46 years old Chief PGA Professional Who teaches golf lessons at a publicly accessible club in California, he’s back at the club, and he’s been driving it all.

Block, chief pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, shot his second consecutive par-70 on Friday to ensure his fairytale continues in the weekend’s rounds at the 105th edition of the Major in Rochester, NJ. York.

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Block quickly became a fan favorite in Oak Hill.

One of twenty PGA professionals to qualify for the tournament, Block had never made the cut in any of his seven previous Grand Slam matches. He’s hit the weekend four times during his 24 PGA Tour appearances prior to this week, hitting a career-best finish of 69 at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2014.

However, with the expected cutoff line expected to drop around five par on the Oak Hill test course, Block plans to stick around for a few more days.

“I think I’m in it, I think I’m good,” he told Sky Sports shortly after his second outing.

“It was my last goal in my golf career [to make the cut] So I’m really excited about that… To be honest my game is so good at the moment that I think I can compete and get a good finish and make my wife happy.”

Block’s golf balls are emblazoned with the words “Why Not?” The 46-year-old with that question lived in Oak Hill.

Priced by bookmakers at +50,000 (500/1) odds of winning heading into the Championship, Block was one of the leaders after a fourth birdie in his second round.

A bogey and double bogey dropped him later, but Block promptly steadied the ship, easing home with a four-season run in the straight.

It keeps him on track to beat the 11th record for the all-time best score by a PGA professional in the Major. Not since Steve Schnetter in 2005 has a PGA professional finished inside the Top 40.

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Block is on his way to finishing making history in Oak Hill.

However, if he makes history with a scorecard that appears overblown, Block may have some grievances.

“I’m not happy at all because I’m more than equal in my life no matter where I am,” he told reporters after his inaugural tour.

“Whenever I’ve been over once, whether it’s at the PGA Championship or playing at home against my kids, I need to come back. That’s who I am.

“I don’t care if it’s in a major game or a skins game on Tuesday at the local club, that’s the way I move. Honestly, that’s how I’m going to play for the next three days.”

Block’s performance may come as little surprise to those who taught him at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club where, according For the PGA Tour, the course record holder is available to rent for 45 minutes from $125.

A 10-time Southern California Player of the Year, Block is the PGA Professional Player of the Year and sealed his ticket to Oak Hill with a runner-up finish at the PGA Professional Championship in Mexico last month.

In a walk-and-talk interview with ESPN during his first outing, Block shared insight into his educational philosophy.

“Old Arnold Palmer, ‘Swing your swing,’ is a huge thing for me,” Block explained.

“I don’t teach one way. I teach what this person has the ability to do and learn, and that’s been a huge benefit to me teaching over the past 25 years. I’m not trying to teach anyone to swing a Tiger or Rory, because that’s not going to happen “So you have to be realistic with what you have. This is a big thing. I’m trying to be honest with my guys.”

“For the first couple of years, you were there and you outdid it. And telling everyone the same thing. Once you trust the way you teach and play, things will get better.”

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