It’s been a tumultuous week for the 46-year-old club professional Michal Blok.
Last Thursday, Block laid the groundwork for what would become his legendary PGA Championship performance with a 70 in the opening round Oak Hill.
A lot can happen in seven days.
You probably already know the story, but to sum it up: Block has become greatest PGA championship history, except for Brooks Koepka’s win. He was the only club Pro to qualify, earned weekend pairings with Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, and was the hero of the final round with ace on the 15th hole and up and down clutch to get to the clubhouse on T15 – meaning a guaranteed spot at next week’s PGA Championship in Valhalla.
Golf fans are used to seeing an amazing game on the course, but Block’s story has resonated like few. Viewers were captivated by his relative attitude and humility. Following the PGA, Block received an exemption from participating in this week’s tournament at the Colonial and the RBC Canadian Open in June. He got text messages from people like Michael Jordan. It was signed by energy agency WME Sports. He had the new Raising Cane logo on his sleeve for his Charles Schwab Challenge debut. It seemed like everyone wanted to attend this Block party. The storm is an understatement.
But then came golf.
On Thursday at Colonial Block, he struggled from the start, scaring his three opening holes. He rebounded with a couple of birdies to go back to two on the turn, but was eventually sunk by the back nine, which included three bogeys and three doubles. Block eventually signed with a final score of 81–11 over par and last on the leaderboard by four shots.
“It’s one of those golf days,” Block said after his round. “If you play golf, you know exactly what just happened. So I really don’t need to explain too much because if you’re a golfer, you’ve had a day like mine. You understand facts where lies are no good and trees get in your way every time. Even your good shots are bad, your bad shots are worse, and so on and so on.
“It is what it is. I’ll live with it,” he continued. “I thought it was going to happen in the third or fourth round last week in Oak Hill, but it never happened. It happened now and honestly I wasn’t that surprised. The experience I had last week was on a higher level. So today, coming here and not having your game at all and having a lot of bad luck or whatever you call it, just call it golf. It is what it is. at the same time, I was sitting there thinking about it, and I said I was going to see my boys tomorrow night.
Block’s journey so far has been quite an emotional rollercoaster – and that experience seemed to lessen somewhat as he contemplated leaving Colonial early.
“I’m not disappointed. I’m going home tomorrow night. (Cry). I’m sorry, he said. “I’m looking forward to going out tomorrow, having a great round and giving it my all.”
And despite Block’s place on the leaderboard, he’s still hoping to turn things around on Friday.
“I’ve shot 58 and shot 59 in my life, and given what I had today, I wouldn’t be surprised if I did,” he said. “So if I do that, cool. If not, I’ll see my kids and wife tomorrow night in Orange County, California.
“Everything is good in one way or another.”
For Michael Block, this couldn’t be more true.