Emotional club pro Michael Block toils during 11-over first round at Charles Schwab Challenge
By George Ramsay, CNN
(CNN) — Less than a week since his stunning performance at the PGA Championship, club pro Michael Block endured a tough first round at the Charles Schwab Challenge, shooting 11-over par.
Block earned hero status at last week’s major when he finished tied for 15th, dunking a hole-in-one on Sunday and later receiving a congratulatory text from NBA legend Michael Jordan.
But Thursday provided a stern reality check for the 46-year-old as he bogeyed the first three holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, and eventually ended the day last on the leaderboard.
Block, who is more used to teaching golf lessons at a public course in California, was emotional at the thought of returning to his family after this week’s tournament.
“I’m going to see my boys tomorrow night,” he told reporters. “I’m looking forward to coming out tomorrow, playing a great round, giving it everything I have.”
Block went out with Min Woo Lee and Pierceson Coody at the Charles Schwab and shot four bogeys on the first five holes, including a wedge hit over the back of the green on the first hole and a fluffed bunker shot on the second.
He briefly recovered with a birdie on the ninth to make the turn at two-over and saved par on the 10th after skewing his tee shot onto the bridge.
However, three bogeys and three double bogeys on the last eight holes meant Block closed on 81, four shots off the back of the field.
“If you are a golfer, you’ve had the day I had and you understand the facts of where the lies aren’t good and trees are in your way every time, and even your good shots are bad, your bad shots are worse,” Block said.
“You know what, 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 [during the PGA Championship] and it never happened, so it happened now.
“I wasn’t surprised by it, to tell you the truth, because the experience I had last week was next level.”
When the dust settles from his whirlwind couple of weeks, Block can begin to try to make sense of what he achieved at the PGA Championship last week: a place in next year’s tournament and $288,333 in prize money, his biggest payday on the golf course by more than $200,000.
At the top of the standings, England’s Harry Hall leads the Charles Schwab on eight-under, three shots clear of American Harris English.