Playing the final round of a major championship with Rory McIlroy, making a hole in one, having the adoration of the fans. Michael Block lived every golfers dream bar winning the PGA Championship last week.
From cult hero to public enemy number one, it’s been a whirlwind five days for the PGA Professional who let his mouth run away with himself during the week and with each sentence muttered, his gaze faded.
You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain.
The story we couldn’t get enough of, now we have had more than our fill. The tone has changed around Blockie, his over performative personality has painted him in an unbecoming light.
You’ve lived the dream now know your place seems to be the mantra around him.
The Block party is cancelled. Someone should have told him to always leave the audience wanting more, don’t overstay your welcome to the level where they resent you.
There’s no doubt Block was the cinderella story at Oak Hill last week but while it was fantastic to see someone like him savouring every moment he was having last weekend there was a sense that he was always over milking the attention with nonchalant shrugs and pursuing this persona of disbelief.
He went further to provoke the agitation shown towards him by making some bizarre comments concerning Rory McIlroy.
Block stated that the difference between himself and the four-time major champion was Rory’s driving distance believing the rest of his game is ‘world class’ and that he would be able to complete at the top echelon of the professional game if he had McIlroy’s length off the tee.
“Oh my God. What I would shoot from where Rory hits it would be stupid. I think I’d be one of the best players in the world. Hands down. If I had that stupid length, all day. My iron game, wedge game, around the greens and my putting is world class.”
Spare a thought for the likes of two-time major champion Zach Johnson – the walking embodiment of being able to over achieve despite short driving distances.
Golf fans can be so unforgiving, Block’s sentiments might have been admired in other sports but not in golf. Golf doesn’t do underdog stories very well, it’s all about meritocracy here.
And so to Colonial and the Charles Schwab Challenge where Block’s fairytale soon turned into a nightmare and he was brought straight back down to earth.
There are of course mitigating circumstances for Block’s demise this week. He is in an arena he isn’t used to. Relentless media duties, attention and of course the come down having competed on all four days of a major championship would knock the wind out of your sails.
The magical touch on the Oak Hill dance floor turned into Bambi on Ice on the Colonial greens. An opening 81 with three double bogeys in his last 4 holes saw him prop up the field and he would remain there as he missed the cut by a distance despite an improved 74.
While he had been heralded as a hero last week, we must remember, this man is a club pro so there is no disgracing himself in a 36-hole total of +15
The Block party won’t stop here though. In a fortnight he will rock up with McIlroy again – who I imagine won’t receive him too well – at the RBC Canadian Open as this special story drags on into ‘when will this end’ dreariness.
Maybe Block can recuperate and rise again in Canada, but in truth, nobody will care. He has had his moment in the sun.
He more than deserves his place in next year’s PGA Championship but there was such a mad hat frenzy from the PGA Tour to capitalise on the Block party that the magic has faded.
That’s the great thing about moments, they are there to be savoured because they are fleeting.
The Block party looks set to continue but the enthusiasm and buzz has descended into an ugly rollover and a hangover.