As if his week could have got any better…
PGA Professional Michael Block made a hole-in-one in the final round of the PGA Championship – while playing with Rory McIlroy.
He sent his tee shot on the par 3 15th hole sailing at the pin and his ball slam-dunked in the hole.
He didn’t realise at first, asking McIlroy where his ball went before the crowd made it abundantly clear it had slammed into the cup.
It was one of those aces where the edge of the hole collapsed around the flagstick and it was a truly sensational moment for a man already loved by the spectators in Rochester, New York.
Block was the only PGA professional to make the cut at Oak Hill and, in six previous major appearances, he has missed every cut.
The 46-year-old, who charges $125 per lesson back in California, was knocked off his feet when he was told he’d been paired with McIlroy in the final round.
His ace, with a 7-iron, on the 151-yard hole took him into the top 14 places. A top-15 finish would confirm his place at the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Block had already endeared himself to the viewers at home when he conducted an on-course walk-and-talk where he spoke about his teaching ethos.
There was a lot riding on the final round for Block, following three successive 70s. A top 15 finish would not only earn him the biggest cheque of his career – some $288,000 – but would also earn him a spot in the field at Valhalla next year.
After a nerveless par putt dropped on 17, he repeated the trick on the final hole to finish exactly tied in 15th – to huge ovations and the realisation he’d done some remarkable.
“I mean, it was an amazing golf shot,” said McIlroy of witnessing the magic moment. “That hole has sort of given me fits all week. I haven’t really liked the look of it, and Michael stands up and hits this lovely little draw back into off the left wind, and you know, ball goes straight in the hole.
“It was I guess sort of when it’s your week, it’s your week in a way, and you know, I think with the way the week’s went for him, it was a fitting way to cap off his PGA Championship.”
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