Rory McIlroy and Michael Block. Andrew Redington
With all due respect to all the great players on the PGA Tour, the up-and-down of the year in men’s golf was made by a club pro. Of course, we’re talking about Michael Block’s incredible par save on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship, which kept him in the top 15 and earned him a spot in next year’s PGA at Valhalla. Remember this?
— PGA of America (@PGA) May 21, 2023
Of course you do. But somehow it gets even better thanks to Block’s playing partner that day, Rory McIlroy.
The four-time major champ was a guest on Golf’s Subpar podcast this week and he told a fantastic tale about that amazing moment. As the legend of Blockie continues to grow. Here’s Rory:
“His caddie is still trying to get through the crowd or whatever, so Michael comes up on the green, marks his ball and gives it to Harry, my caddie, to clean for him,” McIlroy says. “And Harry asks Blockie: ‘Is your short game usually this good?’ And he goes: ‘No, it’s usually better.’ I was like: Oh, my god. But it’s great. How much confidence is that?”
That’s a LOT of confidence. Of course, we’ve come to learn that Michael isn’t lacking in the C-word since then. He took some heat for saying on another podcast that he’d be “one of the best players in the world” if he had McIlroy’s length. But Rory has no problems with what the surprise star of that major has said or done since.
“Look, has he made some statements afterwards that I probably disagree with? Absolutely,” McIlroy said. “But again, whenever you’re getting asked a million questions from a million people it’s so hard to not say something, jeez, I’ve certainly regretted things I’ve said or answers I’ve given to certain questions and Blockie is probably feeling the same way at some point. But it still doesn’t take anything away from what a cool story in golf that that’s been this year.”
Amen, Rory. Amen. From fast-food appearances to another hole-out at DJ Khaled’s celebrity golf event to even a course record at Valhalla promoting next year’s PGA, it’s been a wild ride. But it all started at Oak Hill.
“What a week for him,” McIlroy added. “And he certainly made the most of it after, but good for him. People are going to be excited to see him at Valhalla next year … People really bought into that story and it was really cool.”
We couldn’t agree more. Long live Blockie.