While Brooks Koepka will go down in history as the winner of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, Michael Block managed to steal the show from Koepka’s record-setting victory for many.
Who is Michael Block you ask? Well, as recently as last Tuesday, few knew the answer to that question. Block is a PGA of America club professional, which means he spends his days giving lessons, among other tasks, at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, not teeing it up alongside Rory McIlroy and other stars on a week-in-week-out basis on the PGA Tour.
We break from Kentucky sports betting to bring you this amazing PGA story about Michael Block.
Michael Block Proves That It's Never Too Late To Impress
Block, at age 46, has had plenty of sniffs of top-tier competition over the years, but few, if any positive results to speak of. He’s a regular qualifier for the PGA Championship via a top 20 finish in the PGA of America's PGA Professional Championship. But he’d never made a cut in 4 previous appearances and also failed to make the weekend in two previous U.S. Opens.
But that all changed this past weekend when Block turned in an electric performance while playing alongside major champs in Justin Rose and McIlroy. Not only did he become the first PGA club pro to make a hole-in-one at the PGA Championship since George Bowman in 1996, but with his T15 finish, Block went ahead and qualified for next year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
How unlikely was Block’s run in Rochester? Per ABC News, in 2005 Steve Schneiter was the last PGA pro to finish inside the top 40 at the tournament. Nearly two decades later, Block threatened a top 10!
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Odds of Michael Block’s 2024 PGA Championship Qualification
BetKentucky.com utilized the past history of PGA Pro performances at the PGA Championship to create hypothetical odds of the chance Block had coming into the week to qualify for the 2024 PGA Championship.
Ah yes, what an obvious play he was at +49900!
Those odds represent not just what a longshot he was to qualify, but also how well he played this past week. In a week that saw top players like Matt Fitzpatrick, Jason Day, Cameron Young, and Sungjae Im miss the cut, Block never shot a round higher than 71 and captured plenty of hearts with his mid-round interviews and crowd interactions.
In fact, Block won’t be able to get back to work in the pro shop anytime soon. Last night he received a sponsor exemption into this week’s PGA Tour event in Ft. Worth, where he’ll look to replicate his Rochester run. Over at DraftKings Kentucky Sportsbook, Block is +500 to finish in the top 30 this week. Hey, what can we say? His odds have come a long way in one week!