ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — 46-year-old club pro Michael Block has two words stamped on his golf ball, words that have motivated him this week at Oak Hill.
“Why not? Why not come here and compete,” asked Block. “Why not here at Oak Hill, make the cut?”
Block finally accomplished his lifelong goal of making the cut at a major championship. This is his 5th PGA Championship and he has also played in two U.S. Open’s.
Not only did he make the cut, but he’s within shouting distance of the leaders. At even par, he’s tied for tenth place and is one of seven golfers to not shoot a round above par.
Now, he’s got a new why not?
“To win,” said Block. “As weird as it sounds, I’m going to compete. I promise you that.”
Block’s round could have fallen apart on the 5th hole, hitting a shank off the tee that as he said nearly killed someone. But after salvaging a double, he finished his round strong with four straight pars.
“In my head, I’m going, ‘You have got to be kidding me right now,'” said Block. “I’ve been flushing it all day. The last couple of days the driving range is like a video game. I see that, and I’m, like, ‘Oh, here it comes.'”
Block found himself six shots ahead of world number one Jon Rahm after his round. He got emotional thinking about what that meant for “just a club pro” who gets to hit a bucket of balls a week.
“Pretty cool, to say the least,” said Block. “I wish you guys could come to my office and hang out with me and come teach with me on the back of the driving range with my students who are out there right now. I don’t know why that makes me emotional, but it does. Sorry, Jon.”
Block’s status inside the top ten is the best of any club professional in the last 20 years.
The best finish all-time is tied for eleventh by Lonnie Nielson in 1986. No club professional has finished better than 30th since 1992.
Could Block change all that?