Brutal Shank Puts Michael Block's PGA Championship Cinderella Story In Jeopardy, But He's Still A Badass No Matter What
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Just a little context here. PGA teaching professionals get 20 spots in the PGA Championship field every year. It's more of a ceremonial honor than anything else. You're not actually expected to contend. These guys give lessons at prominent country clubs and teaching academies. They aren't full-time PGA Tour studs.
Michael Block qualified in a tie for second place among the 20 teaching pros who are teeing it up at Oak Hill this week. Plenty of breathing room to get into the major championship field. But like...to even be sniffing the top page of the leaderboard at any point past the first nine holes is a hell of a feather in your cap.
Good analogy here by Kyle Porter:
Beginning his Friday on the back nine, Block birdied the par-4 first hole (his 10th of the day) to get to three under — one shot off the first-round clubhouse lead held by Bryson DeChambeau. This man has spent the first two days describing how he teaches during live on-course interviews and piping drives to the point where he barely watches past the apex.
Certified badassery on the links.
However. A wedge miscue on the par-5 fourth hole led to a bogey…and then you see what happened on the ensuing tee shot. Total Shank City. You could argue Block lived up to his surname, because when you hit the ol' push-cut as a right-handed player, that is a flat-out block. This was even worse. The absolute doomsday scenario. Shankapotomus. Double bogey.
Block steadied the ship with four pars thereafter to finish with a second straight round of 70…perhaps this ultimate underdog Cinderella story…
…(Sorry had to)…may not be getting derailed before it gets the chance to fully blossom.
If Block somehow blocks this out and some of the leaders take a step back on a brutal track, he'll be in even better shape for the weekend. I hate to spotlight a guy for hitting one of golf's most embarrassing shots, but that's unfortunately what draws eyeballs! And it's a relatable for-the-common-man thing. That Block managed to par in from there is amazing.
So shoutout to Michael Block for killing it so far except for the shank. Hopefully gassing him up for the vast majority of this blog is encouragement enough to push along, and he manages a decent weekend result. Then he can look back at that wayward shot, laugh and take solace in making it to the weekend at the PGA Championship. It'd be his fifth made cut in 25 PGA Tour events, and Block is the PGA of America Professional Player of the Year. Chances are, he'll add "low club pro" at the 2023 PGA Championship to his resume.
For a bit more on the Block Ness Monster, here ya go…