ROCHESTER, N.Y. — PGA club pro Michael Block saw his ball falling to the par-3 15th green at Oak Hill Country Club in the final round of the 105th PGA Championship on Sunday. Then he heard the crowd roar.
“I hit a little flighted 7-iron,” Block said. “It was going right at the pin. I knew I was in good shape, maybe 5 to 10 feet. The crowd went crazy because I thought I was close.”
But then four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, his playing partner, turned around and walked toward him. McIlroy gave Block a hug.
“I’m like, ‘Why is Rory giving me a hug?'” Block said. “Rory gives me a hug for hitting it 3, 4, 5 feet? That’s weird. I’m like, ‘I think I just made it.'”
Block, from Mission Viejo, California, asked McIlroy if he had made an ace.
“Yeah, it went in the hole,” McIlroy said. “Right in the hole.”
Block, who started the final round tied for eighth, had the only hole-in-one of the tournament when he aced the 151-yard 15th hole. His ball barely touched the green — and somehow never hit the flag — before slamming into the hole and sending fans into a frenzy.
When Block finally became convinced that he had aced the hole, he raised his black cap and waved it at the galleries. He high-fived McIlroy. Block walked onto the 15th green and grabbed his ball out of the cup, which had been damaged by his slam dunk. His caddie, John Jackson, said a big chunk of the right front corner of the cup was missing.
It was the first hole-in-one at the PGA Championship since Byeong Hun An’s ace on the 11th hole in the final round in 2020 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Block is the first PGA club pro to make a hole-in-one at the PGA Championship since George Bowman in 1996.
Brooks Koepka, who won his fifth major Sunday, said he heard the roar when he was walking up the par-5 13th.
“We heard the roar,” Koepka said. “It sounded like a hole-in-one roar. We weren’t sure, maybe someone holed out on 14. It was kind of coming from the same area.”
Koepka asked one of the on-course camera operators who had made it.
“They told me that it was Mike,” Koepka said. “I thought that was special. Me and [caddie] Rick [Elliott] were laughing about it. Yeah, drinks are on him, so run the tab up.”
Block would probably be happy to pay the tab.
“To do it on that hole on this stage was a lifelong dream,” Block said. “It can never get better. That’s it. I can retire. Good night.”
But Block won’t be retiring anytime soon. Thanks to a nifty up-and-down on the 18th hole, Block finished in a tie for 15th at 1 over, which secured him a spot in next year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He’ll also try to qualify for next month’s U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.
After Sunday’s round concluded, the PGA Tour announced that Block will also compete in next week’s Charles Schwab Challenge on a sponsor exemption, his fourth start of the season, as well as the RBC Canadian Open June 8-11, also by way of a sponsor’s exemption.
“It was a week that I’ll never forget,” Block said. “My caddie and I would literally pinch each other while we walked down the fairway.”