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When the PGA Championship rolls around each year one PGA teaching professional in the field becomes a fan favorite. And this year, that man is Michael Block.
Block, the head professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in California, took part in a mid-round interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt during Thursday’s round, and his calm and ‘I’m playing with house money’ attitude caught the golf world’s attention. So too did his even par 70 on Thursday.
Firmly in the mix to begin his second round on Friday, Block came out of the gates hot playing his first five holes of the day at 3-under par. While he cooled off a bit over his next handful of holes, Block was hit with some adversity in a way no golfer on the planet wants to, in the form of a shank.
Standing on the Par 3 fifth tee box at 2-under on his round, Block pulled 8-iron out of the bag and caught his shot directly off of the hosel.
Block ultimately walked off of the fifth green with a double bogey but was able to steady the ship and make four straight pars to close out his second-consecutive round of 70.
If Block didn’t make double bogey on the fifth and made even a bogey he’d likely be entering the third round inside the Top 10 on the leaderboard. It’s clear that Block isn’t the type of guy to let a shank, or maybe even anything, get to him based on his post-round comments.
“It was a nice little 8-iron, front left pin. 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,'” Block said of the shank.
“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.”
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If his nonchalant comments about almost killing somebody with a shanked shot in a major championship don’t paint a clear enough picture about what kind of guy Block is, he caught up with ESPN after the round and began tearing up while talking about accomplishing his goal and his support team.
He’s playing in his fifth PGA Championship this week and has his sights set on being the low PGA pro on the leaderboard come Sunday evening.
Block also went on to say that he’s simply having fun out on the golf course and has every reason to be. He explained that unlike the players in the field that are playing for a paycheck or world ranking points, Block has a paycheck waiting for him at home thanks to his head professional job back in California.
Here’s to hoping Block stays in the mix throughout the weekend, because the man is fun to watch.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris