SCGA member Michael Block is competing in this week's Northern Trust Open, marking the first time since 2007 that he's participated in a PGA TOUR event. Stay tuned throughout the weekend as we follow along with Michael's journey.
After impressive rounds of 69 and 73, Michael Block struggled Saturday, posting nine bogeys and one birdie during the third round of action at the Northern Trust Open. Followed by a sizeable crowd of family, friends and fellow Arroyo Trabuco GC members, Block teed off of hole No. 10 and managed to hold steady with four straight pars. He would end his first nine, however, with bogeys on three of the last five holes.
Block, the head golf professional at Arroyo Trabuco, is continuing a week that has already impressed many, as he made the cut at a tournament that saw Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson all miss it. Riviera CC provided quite the test Saturday, with hole placements causing higher scores than the first two days. Weather, however, has continued to be the competitor's friend, with blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70s dominating the weekend.
Block will not return to action in the tournament's final round Sunday.
Michael Block (69-73) survived a back nine that included four bogeys to make the cut and advance to weekend action at the Northern Trust Open. After opening his round with two birdies in the first six holes, things got tougher for Block, who bogeyed three of his next six holes.
"It's a win-win now," said Block of making the cut. "I'm going to get to play with great golfers at a great golf course. What's better than that?"
Playing in the final group of the day, Block squeezed in the final three holes as the sun rapidly set. He’s one of 79 competitors to advance to Saturday play with the cut line falling at +2. Notables who missed the cut include Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson, and Bubba Watson.
"My depth perception was absolutely gone, even when putting, at the end there when the sun went down," said Block. "It was pretty difficult and definiely nerve wracking."
Block is currently T5 in the tournament for driving distance, averaging 312 yards per drive compared to the field’s 290. He sits nine strokes off the lead, which is held by Sang-Moon Bae and Fredrik Jacobson, who sit at 9-under par.
Making the cut was extra special for Block Friday, as it was his son Dylan's eighth birthday.
"Going into the round he said to me 'Hey Daddy, you know what I want for my birthday? I want you to make the cut!'" said Block. "So for his birthday he got to watch his dad play. Pretty special."
Michael Block is currently towards the top of the leaderboard with some of the world's top ranked golf professionals and was in great spirits after his round Thursday at Riviera CC. The weather was perfect for golfers and fans alike, and the course was in great condition. Despite some nerves going into the first round, Block had his friends, family and members of the Arroyo Trabuco GC out there following him.
"My eagle on the first hole gave me some confidence to continue the round and play my game," stated Block.
With two eagles, including a chip in at 11, two birdies, 10 pars and four bogeys, Block had an impressive round. He finished strong on 18 with a tough par and was satisfied with the performance he had.
"I'm in a group that's easy to play with," Block said about Patrick Reid (73) and Robert Streb (68), who he will also be paired with Friday. "I'm able to play smart and just play golf."
Block tees off of the 10th tee at 1:25 p.m. Friday. Click here to view his first-round scorecard.
The Northern Trust Open at Riviera CC takes place this week, featuring some of the game’s top professionals including Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. Mixed into this year’s field, though, is a local named Michael Block, who is best known to his members at Arroyo Trabuco GC as the head golf professional.
“It’s like the fatter and older I get, the better I play,” Block said jokingly. “I’m playing better than ever and I’m excited for this event.”
Block qualified for the Northern Trust Open with a 4-under-par 67 during a qualifier at Hacienda CC. Despite recording two bogies, including finishing his round with one on the 18th hole, he recorded six birdies in the round to capture a three-shot victory over California CC’s Ted Parker.
It has been more than five years since Block last played in a PGA TOUR event. In 2007, he qualified for the U.S. Open at Oakmont CC. Despite missing the cut (79-77), Block was featured on ESPN’s Top 10 for his holed eagle from the rough during Wednesday’s practice round as well as his eagle on the 14th during the first round.
“It was the best week of my life,” he remembers.
Block was also an alternate for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional and lost in a playoff during a qualifier for the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines this past month.
When speaking about his goals for his upcoming week at Riviera, Block mentioned that he just wants to play his game.
“I 100% want to make the cut and do as well as I know I can,” stated Block.