Fan favorite Michael Block explains confidence heading into PGA Championship: ‘I shot the course record’


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The 2000 PGA Championship noticed José María Olazábal set the course document at Valhalla Golf Membership with a 9-under 63 in his third spherical. 

Heading into the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla, each golfer would like to hit that mark. Actually, certainly one of them truly did in August, and it’s not who you may anticipate. 

Michael Block, the membership professional from Arroyo Trabuco Golf Membership in Mission Viejo, California, captivated the world of golf when he completed tied for fifteenth on the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Golf Membership this time final yr. 

He not solely made the reduce, he hit a hole-in-one with Rory McIlroy as his associate within the closing spherical Sunday and had a terrific up-and-down on the 18th gap to earn his spot on this yr’s main. 

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Michael Block smiles and thanks followers on the 18th inexperienced in the course of the closing spherical of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Nation Membership Could 21, 2023, in Rochester, N.Y. (Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour by way of Getty Pictures)

After lacking the reduce in subsequent tournaments — the Charles Schwab Problem and RBC Canadian Open — following the 2023 PGA, Block went to Valhalla, the place he performed with the proprietor of the membership. 

He shot 63 in his first spherical. 

“I shot 63 the primary day and 71 the second day with the proprietor,” Block recalled to Fox Information Digital following a spherical at Shell Bay Golf Membership in Florida with Elevating Cane’s proprietor Todd Graves and the Miami Dolphins‘ Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Ramsey. 

“Clearly, totally different circumstances than a serious, however nonetheless very comparable. I like it. I really like the golf course. I really like all the things about it. I really like the individuals of Louisville. So, it may possibly positively be one other social gathering for positive.

“It’s simply all as much as me.”

MICHAEL BLOCK’S INSPIRING PGA CHAMPIONSHIP LED MICHAEL JORDAN TO REACH OUT

Final yr, Block admitted the expectations had been affordable contemplating he certified for the event as a neighborhood membership professional and was having fun with the chance to compete with the perfect on the planet at Oak Hill. 

After exhibiting that he can play with the perfect, Block’s life modified without end. He turned a golf hero, somebody followers might rally round as he had the time of his life. 

“The truth that I’m enjoying golf and this occurred to me and my household is fairly wonderful,” Block stated, including he “by no means met any of these haters” following his efficiency at Oak Hill. 

Michael Block with Todd Graves, Jalen Ramsey and Tua Tagovailoa

Michael Block stands with Todd Graves, Jalen Ramsey and Tua Tagovailoa. (Elevating Cane’s)

Block’s recognition skyrocketed to the purpose he’s sponsored by Elevating Cane’s, the American quick informal chain that makes a speciality of rooster fingers. He stated it is the “most-talked about emblem” on his polo shirt since they partnered. 

Whereas Block loves that his life has modified for the higher, it means there shall be expectations when he stands on the primary tee Thursday to start the PGA Championship. And he is aware of it. 

“I’d be mendacity to you if I didn’t inform you I’ve extra stress on myself than ever in my life,” Block, who turns 48 subsequent month, defined. “The quantity of stress I had final yr going to Oak Hill was nothing. Actually nada. It was like, ‘Oh, it’s the membership professional, and he’s going to complete tied for final.’ That’s what everybody expects, so no stress.

MICHAEL BLOCK SINKS HOLE-IN-ONE AS DREAM PGA CHAMPIONSHIP CONTINUES

“Clearly, I’ve bought the eyes of the golf world on me. So, yeah, I do have a ton of stress. However, on the similar time, I wouldn’t commerce that. I really like that. If you happen to’re sitting there and asking, ‘Would you slightly have it or not?’ I’d slightly have it, so I’m cool with it.”

Block is aware of on a regular basis golf followers shall be anticipating one other miraculous 4 days from him, however he has private family and friends touring from far and huge to observe him in individual. 

“I’ve had actually a category reunion for my highschool exhibiting up. I’ve bought buddies from internationally exhibiting up. I’ve bought my mother-in-law watching from Argentina. She flew in to observe me and has by no means seen me play golf at some point in her life,” he stated. 

Once more, Block goes again to figuring out Valhalla and understanding that he is had success right here, even when the course wasn’t as tough as it will likely be for this main. He has a course of for working by the stress, similar to some other golfer on tour. 

Michael Block smiles at Raising Cane's

Michael Block speaks throughout an interview at Elevating Cane’s Could 8, 2024, in Miami, Fla. (John Parra/Getty Pictures for Elevating Cane’s)

“For me personally, it’s a means of not icing myself,” he defined. “Once I say ice myself, it’s like a kicker within the NFL. I’m not going to face over it and overanalyze or overthink. I’m going to face over, take a look at my goal, look down and pull the set off and achieved.”

And let’s not overlook, Block is not any stranger to main championships. And it’s not simply due to 2023. This shall be Block’s sixth PGA Championship, having certified for it in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2022 and 2023. He’s additionally performed in two U.S. Opens (2007 and 2018). Nonetheless, he solely made a reduce as soon as, which got here final yr at Oak Hill. 

So, the purpose for Block is easy after he consulted together with his spouse. 

“‘What’s the brand new purpose, what’s the brand new purpose?’ She goes, ‘Simply make the reduce,'” he stated, laughing. “It actually goes again to what the unique factor was: Make the reduce being the membership professional, and it’s what it’s.”

Block would like to make the reduce at Valhalla, and who is aware of what would occur from there? Block stated he would like to be paired with Tiger Woods and have the same expertise younger Neal Shipley did within the closing spherical of The Masters final month. 

“For me to make the reduce and play with Tiger on Saturday or Sunday could be — I might actually drop the mic and stroll off the golf course and never should play golf once more, and I’d be cool. It’d be that particular for me,” he stated.

A yr later, the world is vastly totally different for Block. As an alternative of being simply one other membership professional who certified for the PGA Championship, he’ll be cheered on from the beginning by followers who will acknowledge him in Louisville this week. 

Michael Block swings golf club

Michael Block performs a shot on the twelfth gap throughout a apply spherical previous to the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Membership Could 13, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Pictures)

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If he can hit fairways and never “have my 6-iron pull left” after doing so, one other “Block Occasion” is perhaps arrange at Valhalla this weekend. 

A 63 on the scorecard once more could be fairly cool, too. 

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