Brooks Koepka may have walked away with the fifth major victory of his career at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club earlier this month, but his story took a backseat to the man who truly won the weekend: Michael Block.
Block was one of the 20 PGA Professionals who’d qualified for the tournament thanks to the largely symbolic slots reserved to give guys who devoted the bulk of their days to giving lessons and managing pro shops a chance to get a taste of what it’s like to play on the PGA Tour.
No one really expects those guys to make the cut—nevermind hang with some of the best players on the planet—but Block managed to do exactly that over the course of an event where he dunked a hole-in-one in a final round where he also converted a clutch up-and-down to tie for 15th and clinch an automatic invite to the tourney next year.
The man who took home a cool $283,333 for his performance treated golf fans to the ultimate underdog story, and while he was a universally beloved figure in the wake of the PGA Championship, he got a taste of the reality that comes with being thrust into the spotlight courtesy of a supposed misstep.
Earlier this week, Block sat down for an interview with Bob Menery where he asserted he could be “one of the best players in the world” if he was able to drive the ball as far as Rory McIlroy.
That comment caused a bit of a stir with plenty of people who thought Block’s success was getting to his head, and he opted to hop on Instagram to address the overblown backlash to what seemed like a pretty innocuous comment.
🚨 Michael Block shares an update on his statement where he said that if he could drive it like Rory he would be one of the best players in the world. pic.twitter.com/3jrAUbYPEV
— DIALED GOLF (@DialedGolf_) May 26, 2023
Here’s what he had to say:
“Whoever’s taking out of context the fact that I [said] I could be the best player in the world or all that if I could hit it as far as Rory; I mean the fact is if I was 60, to 70, 80 yards longer off the tee, of course I could compete on the PGA Tour. I mean, c’mon.
I’m not. I’m 46. I’m a club pro. These guys bomb it past me, and it’s cool. I’ve got no problem with it. Am I going to be the best player in the world or the top 20 in the world? No, I’m not. I’m still going to be a club pro at the end of the day. I’m not going to be on tour and all that stuff.
So, all the haters out there, c’mon, man. I mean, really? It’s me. I’m Michael. I’m having fun. I’m just playing. I’m still a club pro forever, and I love the PGA of America, and if you hate me, you hate me, but I still love you, but whatever.”
I’m sure those haters were thrilled to see Block finish dead last in the first round at the Charles Schwab Challenge, but it’s pretty clear he’s just enjoying the ride.