Michael Block Reminded Us Why We Love Sport
THE feel-good story at the PGA Championship was written by a club pro called Michael Block. The tournament is unique in that ensures a group of club pros tee it up alongside the world’s best players.
Most of them miss the cut but love the experience. Block was playing in his seventh major and he did rather more than making it to the weekend. In the third round he got to play alongside Justin Rose and he played the final round in the company of Rory McIlroy.
The Northern Irishman might have outscored Block but it was the club pro who brought the house down when he recorded a hole-in-one on the final day - the only one of the entire event. And he had to check with McIlroy that it had in fact disappeared into the cup before warmly embracing the four-time major champion.
It helped him to a 15th-place finish. His previous best payday had seen him collect $75,000. This was worth $300,000 and also guaranteed him his place in the field next year.
And while he was still taking all of that in, the 46-year-old received a phone call from Michael Tothe, tournament director at the Charles Schwab Challenge, inviting him to play at Colonial. It was a call that reduced him to tears.
Tothe introduced himself in a phone call to Block, who responded by saying: "Don't tell me what you're gonna tell me because if you tell me I'm gonna cry right now man.”
Tothe replied: "I am going to tell you what I'm about to tell you. We would love for you to come and play in our golf tournament and we have an exemption available and we'd love for you to be in Fort Worth this week. The hair on my arms are standing up too.
"There's no better person for this last exemption to go to than you.”
"Someone once told me that Colonial sets up good for an old pro like me," Block joked after composing himself and thanking Tothe for the invite. And that, in a nutshell, is why we love sport.
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