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Riviera Country Club

Awards Season

Michael Block winning this year-end award was the biggest lock in sports

January 10, 2024

Scott Taetsch/PGA of America

We can safely say there will be no controversy with this year-end golf award announcement.

Michael Block has been named the PGA Professional Player of the Year Award winner for 2023 following a storybook season. The 47-year-old club pro burst onto the national scene in May with a T-15 at the PGA Championship, which included a slam-dunk hole-in-one late on Sunday while playing with Rory McIlroy at Oak Hill.

“It’s very surreal for this to happen at 46-47 years young,” Block told the PGA of America. “I’m not really playing any differently than I always have. It just happened at the right moments this year. It’s not like I found some secret code or something. It happened to be where the course set up well for me. I read the greens nicely. The fairways were firm and fast. Everything lined up at Oak Hill and I’m not expecting to do that ever again. At the same time if it happens again at any event at all, I’ll be very happy.”

The long-time pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club also shot a final-round 66 to successfully defend his title at the Southern California PGA Section Championship in September. He won the Southern California PGA Player of the Year Award for a staggering 10th time in 11 years.

Block also earned exemptions into several other PGA Tour events, and finished T-27 at the Australian Open last month. With 1,352.50 points, this is his second consecutive PGA Professional Player of the Year Award.

“I was never in my life thinking ‘let’s try to do this twice,’” Block told the PGA of America. “I had this as a goal in life to win it one time. I happened to play well in two important events, the national club pro and the PGA Championship. I’m lucky enough to get it two times in a row.”

Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth of San Jose Country Club in ​​Jacksonville, Fla., won the Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Award for the first time, while Bob Sowards of Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio, won in the senior division for a fifth time.

Block's win comes a week after Scottie Scheffler and Eric Cole won close votes on the PGA Tour for Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively. But again, after Block's performance at Oak Hill—which earned him a spot in the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla—this award was never in doubt.