PGA Championship 2023: Club pro hits nightmarish shank on par 3, bounces back in impressive fashion
It was a dream Friday morning at Oak Hill for Michael Block. That is, until one nightmarish shot.
The 46-year-old club pro from Mission Viejo, Calif., was cruising through 12 holes of his second round at the 2023 PGA Championship at three under and one off the lead, causing Hollywood script writers to take notice. A bogey on his 13th hole dropped him back to two under, but he was still in fantastic shape as he got to the tee at the par-3 fifth. Then, disaster struck.
In the latest testament to what a fickle sport golf is, Block, out of nowhere, hit probably the worst shot of his life. A dreaded shank. And a full-bore shank at that. With the entire golf world watching. The hosel rocket had everyone cringing, including former PGA Tour pro and current CBS Sports analyst Smylie Kaufman.
Yikes. That is an all-time major championship shank right there. Let's take a look at that in slow-mo. Unless, of course, you've got a weekend tee time. In that case, you might want to look away:
Yeah, that's tough to watch. The only positive was that Block's ball miraculously clanged off a tree and bounced back in play, saving him from going out of bounds. From there, however, he missed the green and failed to get up and down, resulting in a double bogey that caused him to tumble off the leaderboard at Oak Hill.
Certainly seeing a club pro's name near the lead is a surprise, but as you can imagine, Michael Block, who is playing in his fifth PGA and seventh major, is no ordinary club pro. Here's Ryan French, AKA Monday Q Info on Twitter, with some more background on his playing resume:
The guy is basically the Tiger Woods of the Southern California PGA Section! So, yeah, that shank was pretty shocking.
Block also did a fantastic job when he was mic'd up on Thursday as he played the 14th hole. So it's been a great week. And one that still could get a lot better if he makes a first career cut in a major—especially if he's able to pull that off despite hitting a shank.
UPDATE: With a second consecutive 70, Block easily made the cut. So get a good night's sleep, Michael. And try not to dream about that one shot.
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