Michael Block from master to American dream

His name is Michael Block, the latest incarnation of the American dream

by Andrea Gussoni
Michael Block from master to American dream

His name is Michael Block, the latest incarnation of the American dream. Until Thursday, Block was an anonymous instructor at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo (California). Since Saturday, Block has been the master of the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo (California) which finished in fifteenth position at the 2023 PGA Championship.

After this anonymous Major for Michael there is almost nothing left.

Michael Block, story

To give an idea of the event we are talking about, just think that Justin Thomas, seasoned pro as well as defending champion, finished 65th while Jon Rahm (number one in the world until Sunday) was satisfied with a 50th place.

Last Sunday with some friends Michael had spent the evening at the Pittsford Pub (a place in the area) without anyone deigning him a look. On Sunday evening in the leaderboard his name came before those of established champions such as Spieth, Morikawa, Schauffele, Johnson and Reed.

Michael's placement is the best PGA Championship finish by a golf instructor since 1986. Michael Block is one of twenty American professionals who, through qualifying competitions, have obtained the green light for the second Major of the year, the only one of the four that does not include amateur players.

He not only played but on Sunday he even posted a hole-in-one with a 7 iron (at 15, 151 yards) shooting with a certain Rory McIlroy and blowing up the crowd. His story would certainly have overshadowed that of any winner if it hadn't been Brooks Koepka, a professional breakaway from the Arab SuperLeague who won the fifth Major in his career.

For his part, the fifteenth place finish certainly changes his life for a variety of reasons. First, Michael Block got his pass to play in the 2024 PGA Championship. Then he took home a check for $288,000 when his biggest win before Sunday was $74,000.

The 46-year-old had previously played 25 PGA Tour matches via qualifiers and invites, only breaking the cut four times. His best result dates back to 2014, with a 69th place at the Sanderson Farms Championship. And that's not all: the Mission Viejo master, at the invitation of a sponsor, will be on the field next weekend at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth where the PGA Tour has the Charles Schwab Challenge on its calendar.

Since good news never comes alone, Block has also received a wild card for Toronto where the RBC Canadian Open will be held in early June. Again: in the world ranking, the 46-year-old flew from position 3,580 seven days ago to number 577 today.

In short, he took a liking to it even if he admitted that he had a moment of weakness after the competition. “I didn't cry when my children were born – Block told the Guardian – but I cried today for golf”.

This world in his own way pays him back: today the cell phone rings constantly for requests for interviews and - above all - offers of advertising contracts. He doesn't get over his head. “Old Arnold Palmer used to say 'swing your swing'

For me he represents something great – he said -. I don't teach a way to play golf. I have been teaching what that person has the ability to do for 25 years. I'm not trying to explain Tiger or Rory's swing. We have to be realistic, work with what you have and who you are.

I try to be honest with my boys." For the next few weekends, Mission Viejo will not have the master named Block, Michael Block, available. His agenda is full even if as a good incarnation of the American Dream he immediately puts his hands forward: “My lessons on the driving range cost 150 dollars an hour – he recalled -. I'm not going to raise the price when I come back”.

Michael Block