Michael Block impressed by the marching band, message from Michael Jordan

Michael Block impressed by the marching band, message from Michael Jordan

Todd ArcherESPN Writer24 May 2023, 06:105 minute read

Michael Block overwhelmed to receive Charles Schwab Challenge exemption

Michael Block is thrilled as he receives an exemption to participate in the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Michael Block wants to apologize to his friends.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you,” said Block, who finished tied for 15th at last week’s PGA Championship and then earned a sponsor exemption for this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country. Fort Worth Club. “I literally scroll and scroll and scroll, and it never ends. I can’t even get to the bottom of any of my feeds to even see how many or who is viewing me. So it’s been crazy.”

But there was a text message he received on Tuesday that he was able to come back. It comes from Michael Jordan.

It appears the Basketball Hall of Famer and avid golfer noticed Block wearing Jordan-branded shoes last week at Oak Hill Country Club.

“I’ve been a big Jordan guy all my life. I was a little kid from Iowa saving $100 for a pair of Jordans at the time,” Block said. “Very cool, to say the least.”

And Jordan’s message?

“It was something in the sense that what he saw is why he loves the game of golf so much,” Block said.

Block’s 1-over finish at the PGA Championship last week captured the minds of golf fans everywhere. By finishing tied for 15th, he automatically qualified for next year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club and it was the best result by a club professional at this major since 1986. According to the latest rankings Official Golf World, which was released on Monday, it jumped 3,580 to No. 577 in the world.

“I’ve said it many times, but it’s just a dream,” Block said after completing a practice round. “I’m just on a cruise. I’m actually pretty happy that at this point I haven’t come to the reality of what’s going on so I can really play really good golf. I think if I’m sit down and think about it too much, I’m not sure I can swing the club on Thursday.”

Block’s ace on the 151-yard 15th hole was the first to a PGA Championship since 2020 and the first from a PGA Pro Club to a PGA Championship since 1996. The 7-iron he has used is now highly sought after.

On Monday, he told 1310 The Ticket in Dallas, he was offered $30,000 for the club. He has since received more offers.

“That’s crazy, isn’t it? The first response was that it was $50,000 and I would hand-deliver it. Kind of joking, but I guess not really anymore,” Block said. “But other people have asked me about it to maybe keep it in some places for the PGA etc, stuff like that. So it’s up in the air. At the moment it Just hit close shots for me, and I’ll go from there.”

Max Homa called Block, the head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif., a “Southern California legend”, having played in tournaments against him in the past. Block played the front nine at Colonial Tuesday with fellow Southern California golfer Beau Hossler. As he left on No. 10, Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson watched.

“It’s always amazing to see someone who, if you go to US Amateur or US Mid-Am and you see these players how awesome they are, and they have a job,” said said Homa. “I spend all my days here practicing golf. That’s all I have to do, and he can still hit me really well.”

Ryan Palmer was training at the Vaquero Club in Westlake, Texas, and saw Block’s hole-in-one. He was curious how Block’s game would stand up to the pressures of a major game weekend with Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy.

“I think it’s just one of those stories that the game of golf hasn’t had in a while,” Palmer said. “The game is in such a good place, the PGA Tour, the guys who play every week, the guys who win, it’s stronger than ever, I think, but I think it also has to do with what has summer is happening in the world of golf, the battle that’s going on I guess you could say Seeing a story like that gathering fans who are golfers or non-golfers I think it’s pretty cool to see .

Block received the sponsor waiver on Sunday and flew to Dallas/Fort. It’s worth Monday. He was at Colonial on Tuesday mid-morning for a practice round. He brought the same clothes with him from last week in Rochester, New York, but that didn’t help with the warmer weather in Texas.

“I don’t have any shorts with me at all,” Block said. “So I will try to have shorts here (so) at least when I train here (Wednesday) I will have shorts.”

The spotlight hasn’t been too much for Block. After wrapping up his press conference on Tuesday, he spent about an hour dealing with other media obligations. He calls future Baseball Hall of Famer Albert Pujols one of his best friends. He plays regularly with Patrick Cantlay. He is paired with a friend, Min Woo Lee, on Thursday.

This is the first time he has played at Colonial, Ben Hogan’s home course.

“The course matches my eyes, lots of cuts off the tee,” Block said. “You have to be pretty straight. And the greens are perfect. I’ve got a nice little ryegrass around the green. To be honest, I’m looking a lot better than last week.”

The most encouraging part of last week wasn’t all the acknowledgment and congratulations.

“It’s that my golf game is pretty good,” Block said, his voice cracking. “Yeah, that my game can hold with these guys.”

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