Back to reality! PGA Championship hero Michael Block suffers a nightmare at the start of his first tournament after winning $288k at Oak Hill… while bottom of the Charles Schwab Challenge standings after 11-over 81 round one
Michael Block had a day to forget in his first tournament since the PGA Championship when he finished in last place after posting an 11-over 81 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
The American club professional, 46, was back on the track after receiving a sponsorship waiver for the PGA Tour event at Colonial after a dream week.
But he finished last out of 120 golfers on Thursday after carding seven bogeys before posting double bogeys on numbers 15, 16 and 18.
On the first tee of his first round, Block stepped forward, acknowledged the crowd, addressed the ball, and promptly hit his drive into the trees.
The clubhouse pro who tied for 15th place last week in the PGA Championship took to the grounds of the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas with wind in its sails and good energy behind it.
Michael Block’s opening round at Colonial didn’t go to plan, starting with three straight bogeys
It came a day after Block claimed he could be ‘one of the best in the world’ with Rory’s riding
That wind may have blown him right back to reality as Block carded three bogeys in a row to start his round.
Block still had some magic in his bag from last week’s tournament, when he pulled out a hybrid for a par-3 tee shot that ran across the green and looked like it could fall into the hole – a repeat of the magic ace from last week on the 15th hole at Oak Hill.
He landed just four feet from the cup, as Block holed him for a birdie.
But all that luck was immediately undone on the next hole when he rolled a chip shot from one side of the green to the other, forcing him to double up and bogey again.
His play hadn’t been good from the start – the best example was his second shot on the second hole.
With 100 yards to the hole, Block pulled his wedge out and killed it across the green and an estimated 42 yards into the trees.
It could mark the beginning of a heartbreaking feel-good story ending, but that could have started before Block turned down.
Appearing on a podcast with Bob MeneryBlock made the bold statement that he would be one of the best players in the world if he could control the ball like Rory McIlroy.
“Oh my god what I would shoot from where Rory hits it would be stupid. I think I would be one of the best players in the world. No doubt,” said Block.
‘If I had that stupid height all day long. My iron play, wedge play, around the greens and my putting is world class.’
If Block could find a way to come back and earn his way into Saturday playing, it would be the fifth time he has retired in his career.
If Block finds a way to come back, he could be ready for the fifth time he’s been on the tour
Block won the Low Professional title at Oak Hill, earning $288,000
Prior to the PGA Championship, the last cut he made was at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi in the 2014-2015 PGA Tour season.
Block’s finish at Oak Hill was the stuff of legends as he became a national hero this weekend.
He carded 70-70-70-71 over all four rounds to finish the tournament with one-over-par, earning the title of Low Professional.
That netted him an astonishing $288,000 – far more than all of his previous tour earnings combined.