FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — California club pro Michael Block was living the dream at the PGA Championship. Thursday at the Colonial brought him back to reality.
An Oak Hill sensation when tied for 15th against the strongest course in golf, Block opened with three straight bogeys and finished with three double bogeys over his last four holes of an 81-for-11 that left him last and 19th. blows from behind Harry Hall at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Block received a sponsor waiver, he also has one for the RBC Canadian Open next week, after his incredible week at the PGA Championship. He was on “CBS This Morning,” got a text from Michael Jordan, and signed with WME Sports.
“I have nothing,” he told himself after a tee shot at 13 barely cleared the water and ended up on the left rear of a green that had a right front pin.
“If you’re a golfer, you’ve had the day I’ve had,” Block said after posting his worst score by seven shots in the four PGA Tour events he’s played this year. “You get the facts of where lies are no good and trees get in your way all the time. Even your good shots are bad, your bad shots are worse.”
“It is what it is. I’m going to live with it,” he said. “I thought that third or fourth round was going to happen last week in Oak Hill, and it never happened. It happened now, and I wasn’t surprised, to tell you the truth.” .
Hall got off to a dream start. The PGA Tour of England rookie took just 22 putts, the last an 8-foot birdie for an 8-under-par 62 that gave him a three-shot lead over Harris English.
Along with his eight birdies, Hall putts for par at 15 and 30 feet.
Tom Hoge, who played college golf at TCU and now makes Fort Worth his home, holed out for eagle from the seventh fairway on his way to a 66.
Scottie Scheffler, who returned to World No. 1 with his tie for second at the PGA Championship, and defending champion Sam Burns were in the big pack at 67. Jordan Spieth didn’t make his only birdie until the eighth hole. and opened. with a 72.
Hall changed up his routine this week by playing 36 practice holes at Colonial: a pro-am on Monday and then nine holes on Tuesday and Wednesday. That helps, along with his putter.
“Maybe that’s the key, just to see a little more of the field than I’ve seen in the past,” Hall said. “I didn’t do a lot of different things. I just made things a little simpler.”
He missed seven greens and played those holes at 1-under, his largest with a chip-in for birdie from about 80 feet on the 12th hole.
“I was really in the moment and determined to play some good golf,” Hall said. “The 7 out of 7 scrambles doesn’t really surprise me because that’s the best part of my game, but the way I hit the ball the first two-thirds of that round was pretty special.”
Block has been on quite a ride in the last six days. He made the cut at the PGA Championship, playing Justin Rose on Saturday and Rory McIlroy on Sunday. The 46-year-old head pro at Trabuco Arroyo in Mission Hills, Calif., put in as memorable a performance as Brooks Koepka’s fifth major win from him.
He shot a hole-in-one on the 15th hole, and his finish from deep rough gave him a tie for 15th and an automatic berth in the next year’s PGA Championship.
And then he was back on earth after such a busy week that he only saw Colonial once before Thursday. But she still didn’t give up.
“I’m really looking forward to going out there tomorrow and playing a great round and giving it everything I’ve got,” he said. “I’ve shot 58, and I’ve shot 59 in my life, and given what I had today, it wouldn’t surprise me if I did. So if I do, great. If not, I will see my children and my wife tomorrow night in Orange County, California. It’s all good one way or another.”
Hoge, who grew up in North Dakota, is so passionate about his Horned Frogs that he flew from Maui to Los Angeles to watch TCU in the college football championship game (a blowout loss to Georgia) and then flew back to Hawaii. for the Sony Open. .
He got off to a decent start until his round stalled. She came to life at No. 6 when his approach settled inches from the glass. And then in the seventh, she hit an 8-iron from 157 yards straight into the cup for an eagle.
It’s just the start he needed after missing the cut at Colonial the past three times.
“In the last few years, I really struggled on Thursday and then struggled on Friday to try to make the cut,” Hoge said. “It was certainly a focus this year to try to get off to a good start, try to be a little more patient and let the round come to me. Making some birdies early on was really nice.”
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