The biggest story in sports this was week was PGA Club Pro Michael Block and his ascension to overnight fame following his top 15 finish and hole-in-one playing alongside Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship.
Following his magical weekend, Block received a sponsor’s exemption into the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club and the subsequent whirlwind of media that accompanied it. He went on SportsCenter, got a text from Michael Jordan and was greeted by thousands of fans in Fort Worth.
Block had a roller coaster day on the historic golf course highlighted by a near ace on No. 4 and an up-and-down par off the bridge on No. 10 and several “others” that culminated in carding an 81. He also managed to keep the events of the day and the past week in perspective.
“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,” an emotional Block said. “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,” he continued. “The experience I had that last week was next level. So today, coming out here and not having my game at all and having a lot of bad luck or whatever you might call it, just call it golf. It is what it is. At the same time, I sat there, and I thought about it, and I said, I’m going to see my boys tomorrow night … I’m looking forward to coming out tomorrow and playing a great round and giving it everything I have.”
On the opposite end of the attention scale, Harry Hall, a PGA Tour rookie from England, donned a Ben Hogan hat and proceed to fire an opening round 62 in his first competitive round at Hogan’s Alley. His 8-under was good enough for a three shot lead.
“I was really in the moment out there 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.”
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and defending champion Sam Burns finished the first round at 3-under.
Rickie Fowler remained within striking distance at 2-under.
2016 Colonial winner Jordan Spieth struggled to a 2-over 72.