There aren’t many things sports fans love more than a good underdog story—and we were treated to one of the most unlikely tales you’ll ever encounter thanks to what unfolded at the PGA Championship in 2023.
As you may know, that tournament is organized by the PGA of America, which has historically reserved 20 spots for “PGA Professionals” (the official term for the pros who spend the bulk of their time giving lessons and overseeing pro shops at golf courses around the country).
While those participants are technically all in contention to claim the prize money that’s up for grabs, it’s a largely symbolic gesture; much like nobody expects an amateur to walk away with a green jacket at The Masters, it’s rare for a club pro to end up near the top of the leaderboard (or to make the cut for that matter).
However, Michael Block apparently missed that memo.
Block makes a living working at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, CA, and he found himself in very unfamiliar territory when his phenomenal play at Oak Hill Country Club led to him getting paired up with Rory McIlroy after heading into his final round on Sunday tied for eighth place.
That round featured a moment that would be considered too absurd to be included in the movie that will inevitably be made about him if it hadn’t actually happened, as the 46-year-old dunked a hole-in-one on the 15th hole for what would’ve been a storybook ending if he hadn’t also converted an up-and-down to clinch a spot in next year’s PGA Championship.
Block’s story made it virtually impossible to not root for an everyman who cemented himself as a legend thanks to what transpired over the course of four days in Rochester—and you’ll only adore him even more when you get to take a look at an old commercial the internet dug up.
It turns out Block is also a pretty good actor based on the ad he filmed for Arroyo Trabuco, which was shared by someone who works in television production who said they were already very familiar with Michael Block prior to his breakout showing thanks to how frequently it used to air on local channels.
I believe that’s what the kids refer to as a “glow-up.”