The Michael Block magic hasn’t completely run out since the end of the PGA Championship, but he didn’t have much left in Fort Worth, Texas.
Four days after finishing a T15 performance at Oak Hill — which included a hole-in-one — the 46-year-old teaching pro competed at the Charles Schwab Challenge on a sponsor exemption. He didn’t post a repeat performance in the first round, though he at least had his moments.
Block started with three straight bogies, then came about a yard from hitting another hole-in-one on the fourth hole at Colonial Country Club.
Six holes later, Block was in a tight spot when a 277-yard drive settled on a bridge to the far right of the fairway. Block somehow saved par, starting with an unbelievable escape from the bridge that landed just short of the green.
That was the good.
The bad came on the rest of the back nine, in which Block went bogey, bogey, bogey, par, double bogey, double bogey, par, double bogey to finish the round 11-over and in last place by a margin of four strokes. Rory Sabbatini was next to last at 7-over.
Speaking with reporters after the round, Block had a level-headed outlook:
“It’s one of those days of golf. If you play golf, you know exactly what just happened. So I don’t really need to explain it too much because, if you are a golfer, you’ve had the day I’ve had. You understand the facts of where the lies aren’t good and the trees are in your way every time. Even your good shots are bad, your bad shots are worse, et cetera, et cetera.
“It is what it is. I’m going to live with it. I thought it was going to happen that third or fourth round last week at Oak Hill, and it never happened. It happened now, and I wasn’t surprised by it, to tell you the truth.”
While Friday’s round was significantly better — Block posted a 4-over 74 — he finished at 15-over on the week. He missed the cut, and was in last in the field.
He’s sure to reflect on what has been a wild few weeks at some point. For now, though, he just wants to get back to his family.
“I’m not going to let it all out until I get probably in the — when I get to my house and I’m sitting in the backyard — no, I can’t talk about this stuff right now,” Block said Friday. “My black lab Messy, he’s waiting for me. I haven’t seen him in almost two weeks, and I can’t wait to get home and throw the ball with him.”
By the overall numbers, it wasn’t an impressive performance from Block, who already has received plenty of recognition. He won’t spend the final round playing with a major champion like Rory McIlroy. But for a guy who qualified for last week’s tournament through a qualifier for club professionals and made his first major cut 16 years after his first appearance, any more moments in the sun are a nice sight in a sport that loves an everyman.