The 2023 PGA Championship that saw Brooks Koepka win his fifth major was consumed by the feel-good story of Michael Block, a club pro from Southern California who shocked the world and finished tied for 15th at Oak Hill Country Club.
The PGA of America uses the PGA Championship to highlight its club pros across the country, most of whom work at golf courses full-time, teaching lessons and taking care of course business.
Twenty of those PGA Professionals qualified for the event, but Block, who works at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, was the only one to make the cut, his first time doing so after four other PGA Championship appearances.
Already a wild story halfway through the tournament, Block battled with 2013 U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose on Saturday before playing Sunday’s final round with superstar Rory McIlroy.
The made-for-Hollywood story climaxed when Block sent the gallery into a frenzy with a hole-in-one on the par-3 15th hole. The improbable run culminated with Block sinking a par putt on the 18th green to clinch a tie for 15th.
Not only did that finish earn Block $288,333 but also a spot in next year’s PGA Championship.
Block appears to be one of golf’s hottest commodities at the moment. He participated in live walk-and-talks on the air with ESPN and CBS during his second and third rounds and has been invited to play in this week’s PGA Tour event in Texas, the Charles Schwab Challenge, and the RBC Canadian Open in June.