California club professional Michael Block had a reality check during the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial after his remarkable performance at the PGA Championship. Despite making waves with a 15th place tie against a formidable field at Oak Hill, Block’s fortunes took a downturn as he carded an 11-over 81, landing him in last place and a staggering 19 shots behind leader Harry Hall.
Block’s impressive showing at the PGA Championship earned him a sponsor exemption, including one for the upcoming RBC Canadian Open. His achievements also garnered attention from various quarters, with appearances on “SportsCenter,” a text message from Michael Jordan, and a signing with WME Sports. However, the opening round at Colonial proved to be a struggle right from the start.
The seasoned golfer experienced a series of setbacks, bogeying four of his first five holes and concluding the day with double-bogeys on three of his final four. Amidst the challenges, there were a few highlights. Notably, on the par-4 10th hole, Block’s drive veered significantly right and landed on a cart path bridge. Despite this, he managed to showcase his skill by executing a remarkable wedge shot over a tree, reaching the front side of the green, and ultimately salvaging an unexpected par. It was one of the few bright moments in an otherwise arduous round, as he missed seven fairways in total.
Reflecting on his performance, Block acknowledged the difficult nature of the day, stating, “If you are a golfer, you’ve had the day I’ve had.” He emphasized the challenging lies and frequent encounters with trees that plagued his round. Block recognized that even his good shots were inadequate, while his poor shots exacerbated the situation. Nonetheless, he accepted the outcome and remained resolute, expressing his lack of surprise and determination to persevere.
Block’s journey over the past six days has been nothing short of extraordinary. Making the cut at the PGA Championship, he had the opportunity to play alongside top-tier golfers like Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy. As the 46-year-old head professional at Trabuco Arroyo in Mission Hills, California, he delivered a performance as memorable as Brooks Koepka’s historic victory, highlighted by a remarkable hole-in-one on the 15th hole. His strong finish secured him a tie for 15th place and an automatic berth in next year’s PGA Championship.
However, Block’s Cinderella story took a sudden downturn as he returned to reality with a challenging round at Colonial. Despite the demanding schedule that left him with only a single practice round, he remained determined and refused to give up. Looking ahead, he expressed optimism for the following day, aiming to produce an exceptional round and give it his all. Drawing from his previous achievements, including shooting a 58 and a 59 in his career, Block remained hopeful of an outstanding performance. Regardless of the outcome, he knew he would be content, eagerly anticipating reuniting with his family in Orange County, California.