After experiencing an unprecedented week at the PGA Championship, club pro hero Michael Block, whose relatable demeanor and unexpected contention in the tournament earned him legions of fans, says he’s still living a dream at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
“I’m just cruising,” Block said on Tuesday. “I’m actually kind of glad that at this point I haven’t come to the reality about what’s happening so I can actually play pretty good golf. I think, if I sit down and think about it too much, I’m not sure I could swing the club on Thursday.”
An incredible ace on the 15th hole and a clutch up-and-down on Oak Hill’s 18th hole on Sunday landed him a T15 finish at the PGA Championship, cementing Block’s berth in next year’s PGA Championship field at Valhalla.
Block charmed onsite fans and viewers alike with his heart-on-his-sleeve humility, and received an avalanche of attention. In the wake of his fine play, Block was offered exemptions into both this week’s field at Colonial and the RBC Canadian Open. Days after the end of the final round at Oak Hill, Block said he still hasn’t had the chance to reply to everyone who has reached out to him.
“There’s a lot going on, and I really apologize to all my friends and fans and PGA members out there that have texted me. I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you,” he said. “I literally scroll and scroll and scroll, and it’s neverending. I can’t even get to the bottom of any of my feeds to even see how many or who’s seeing me. So it’s been crazy.”
There is one well-wisher, though, whom Block made it a point to respond to: the one and only Michael Jordan.
“Getting a text from Michael Jordan today, that’s — I’m a big Jordan guy my whole life. I was a little kid in Iowa saving 100 bucks for a pair of Jordans back in the day,” Block said. “Pretty darn cool, to say the least.”
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So what was it that Jordan said to Block via text?
“It was something in the way that what he saw is why he loves the game of golf so much,” Block said.
Block’s reply? That he wanted to be in one of Jordan’s 36-hole games. No word yet on whether that request is in the works.
Jordan looms large in just about every way, but especially when it comes to his presence on the PGA Tour. He was once a staple at team events like the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and loves playing — and gambling — with the game’s biggest stars.
In his press conference on Wednesday, Jordan Spieth revealed that he’s actually named after the NBA legend.
“My dad told Michael Jordan on the 1st tee of the Ryder Cup in ’14 that he named me after him because he was his hero, so that was kind of cool,” Spieth said.
“[Jordan’s] obviously a massive golf lover, built his own playground there at Grove XXIII, and I’ve been fortunate to play a couple rounds with him. It’s not surprising that he would do something like that, the little time I’ve spent around him, to reach out to Michael Block and tell him how much he enjoyed it.”
As for Block, he’s content to take whatever is ahead of him in stride.
“Whatever comes of it comes of it, I’ll enjoy it one way or the other,” he said. “I’ve got a great life both ways. So it’s good all the way.”