Michael Block Michael Block from the 8th fairway.

A look at the leaderboard for the PGA Championship heading would produce a lot of top names from the PGA Tours and LIV Golf. One player though, Michael Block, is likely not a household name even to the biggest golf fans.

Block is the head golf professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California. And while one of the PGA Championship’s definitive features is its inclusion of club pros, they rarely ever make much noise.

But Block is an exception this year. He opened the tournament with a pair of 70s, which has him at even-par for the tournament and tied for tenth place, five shots back of  Viktor Hovland, Corey Conners and Scottie Scheffler. Block’s play has been a surprise — especially to himself.

After Friday’s round, Block said that “the amount of times I hit a bucket of balls is not even once a week,” not at all uncommon for teaching pros. And Block did not head into the week overconfident. Far from it, in fact. After Friday’s round, Block said that his team was not expecting him to make the cut.

“Everyone on my team, myself included, my wife, we’re scheduled to fly out at 10 a.m. tomorrow,” Block said. “And you know what we said? If we’re making those changes, it’s a good thing. We’ll see how many people change and stay, but we did rent a house through Sunday. So we’re good there. But I do need to actually go and change my flights.”

Indeed, that’s a happy change for Block to make.

First of all, he’s contending in a major, rubbing shoulders with the greatest players in the world. Think of the incredible experiences he’s going to gain over the weekend, as well as the stories he’ll be able to tell everyone back home.

Last, but certainly, not least, Block is going to make a decent amount of money this week. Based on the Sporting News projections of the week’s payouts, if Block holds his current position and finishes in a six-way tie for tenth, he’ll make $311,250. If he completely bottoms out and finishes in last place, he’ll make $24,500.

That’s a pretty good worst-case scenario.

[PGA Tour, Sporting News]

About Michael Dixon

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