Despite shank, club pro Michael Block makes first PGA cut
Michael Block earned himself some TV time by climbing onto the first page of the leaderboard Friday morning at the 105th PGA Championship.
Then came the untimely shank.
The 46-year-old head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, reached 3 under, a shot off the lead, after a birdie at the par-4 first hole, his 10th of the day, and held steady with a couple pars to follow. He then bogeyed the par-5 fourth hole, short-siding himself with his third shot, before stepping on the tee box at the par-3 fifth and catching all hosel.
Block’s ball shot out at 45 degrees and low, hitting a tree and ricocheting back into the rough, just ahead of the members’ tee boxes but still 60 some yards away from the hole.
“It was a nice little 8-iron, front-left pin,” Block said. “I love hitting baby draw with my 8-iron. I’ve done it well all week, and all of a sudden we’ve all been there, done that, and we look up, and I’m, like, Oh, my goodness. The ball was just going off, somehow hit the tree, almost killed somebody, and then comes off and goes in the deep rough, and I was actually fortunate enough to make a double bogey after that, after just making a bogey on the hole before being in the middle of the fairway with a 60-degree wedge in my hand.”
The shank-infused double, though, wouldn’t discourage him. Block “flushed” a few more long-irons and parred in to card a second straight even-par 70 and will make his first PGA cut in five tries.
“I feel like I’ve got the game this week to compete, to tell you the truth,” Block said. “I’ve made the cut, which is obviously, a huge goal. I feel like I could shoot even par out here every day. I feel like at the end of the four days that that might be a pretty good result.”
As Block’s ball stamping, inspired by a saying he told his caddie before holing a putt to qualify for the 2007 U.S. Open, says, Why not?
“To win, by far,” Block said when asked of the ultimate why-not. “As weird as it sounds, I’m going to compete. I promise you that.”