As if Michael Block's fairytale week could not be any more storybook, the PGA Professional on Sunday delivered an pair of all-time PGA Championship moments. Playing alongside world No. 3 Rory McIlroy in the final round at Oak Hill Country Club, the 46-year-old slam dunked his tee shot on the par-3 15th for a hole-in-one.
Block's first career hole-in-one in competition propelled him to a memorable finish that ultimately resulted with him placing inside the top 15 on the leaderboard and therefore securing a spot in the field for the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla. (Block also received a special exemption to next week's Charles Schwab Challenge.)
"I've never made a hole-in-one in a tournament in my entire life," Block told CBS Sports' Amanda Balionis. "To make it at that time on hole 15 with the crowd and everyone there and the support I've had from the Rochester fans was probably the most surreal moment I'll ever have in my life. And I definitely enjoyed it."
Arriving at the hole 2 over for the championship and his fourth round, the club pro from Southern California gave the raucous Rochester faithful even more to get rowdy about. It could not have come at a better time for Block, who was soaking in every moment while simultaneously competing for that future exemption.
Block's ace was the only hole-in-one at the 2023 PGA Championship this week. In fact, it's the only one that's transpired at the event since 2020.
"That didn't go in, did it?!" Block asked McIlroy and his caddie simultaneously in true disbelief. "No. No. No way. No way. Rory, did it go in?!"
Yes, it sure did, Michael.
"Couldn't really see it. I knew it was at the pin but had no idea that it went in," recalled Block. "… Rory comes over to me and gives me a hug. I'm like, 'Why is Rory giving me a hug for getting close?' That's kind of weird, but I was cool with it. So, I walk down about 20-30 yards and look back at him, like, 'Did that go in the hole?' … And the next thing I know, it did."
Block's hole-in-one, a 7-iron from 151 yards out, is the first by a club pro at the PGA Championship since George Bowman in 1996. More importantly, it got Block back to even par and inside the top 15.
When walking off the green after picking up his ball from the broken cup, Block turned to his caddie and simply exclaimed, "Are you kidding me?!"
The ace may have been the shot of the championship, but the moment of the week came three holes later on the 18th green.
After a bogey on the 16th, Block needed to get up-and-down for par on the 72nd hole to remain inside the top 15. Unfortunately, his approach landed well into the gallery, creating an unlikely scenario for him to accomplish his goal.
Yet the magic continued for Block, who nipped a beautiful pitch and converted an all-world par save to get in the house at 1 over in a three-way tie for 15th at the PGA Championship.
With that, Block earned his way to Valhalla. Talk about living happily ever after.