Michael Block, professional golf’s feel-good story of the year, could be headed Down Under later in 2023 to tee up in the Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane.
The club pro, who teaches out of the Arroyo Trabuco club in Mission Viejo, California, shot to international fame last month while contending at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill CC in Rochester, New York. In the final round, Block made a hole in one while playing with Rory McIlroy. Block went on to finish tied 15th. It was a Cinderella story.
The 47-year-old might be taking the Block party to Australia, hinting on the Sub Par podcast two weeks ago that he was in discussions with DP World Tour officials about a start in the 2023 Australian PGA Championship.
“[I’m] possibly going over to Australia for the Australian PGA Championship and the Swiss [Omega European] Masters,” Block said when asked what tournaments he had coming up. You can listen to that episode below.
The Australian PGA will be held from November 23-36 at Royal Queensland. Superstar Cameron Smith will be the defending champion while Min Woo Lee has already committed, given the Australian PGA will be the opening event of the 2024 DP World Tour season. The European circuit co-sanctions the event, as well as the Australian Open.
The reason for entertaining DP World Tour invitations was Block said he had reached the maximum amount of starts on the PGA Tour afforded to a PGA of America professional. Block got into the PGA Championship, the second major of the year, by finishing second in the American club pros’ national event, the PGA Professionals Championship. Block said the winner of that tournament can receive up to eight starts on the PGA Tour, but Block’s limit was four.
As such, Block said celebrity presenter Piers Morgan had extended an invitation to play the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pro-am in Scotland in September, and he was looking to play the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Then, possibly the Australian PGA.
“Right now I’m maxed out on what the PGA of America currently has for me to be able to play … they’re working on getting me up to the same amount [of starts] as if you win the national championship, which is eight starts. I’m waiting for a vote on that” Block said on the podcast. “If you get inside top 15 at the PGA Championship, they want you to have the same amount of starts as the guy who wins our national championship [PGA Professionals Championship].
“I got a really cool invite from Piers Morgan to play in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship [which is played across three courses] at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. I’ve watched that tournament [for years]; it’s a dream of mine.”