People's champion Block caps dream week with wild ace
Club professional Michael Block enjoyed the sort of fairytale PGA Championship most peers only dream about, even capping it with a late hole-in-one that produced the loudest roar of the week.
The 46-year-old Californian earned a reputation as "The People's Champ" in a stellar week at brutish Oak Hill Country Club.
Not only was he the only teaching pro out of 20 in the field to make the cut, he fired three straight rounds of even-par 70 in conditions that hindered some of the world's elite golfers.
He then finished with a 71 to secure a share of 15th and a place in the field for next year's championship.
His final day was highlighted by a tee shot at the par-three 15th that soared into the air and then slammed straight into the cup for an ace without even rattling the flagstick.
The moment left Block, who was playing alongside four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, in disbelief.
"No, no, no way. Rory did it go in?" Block said as spectators erupted in wild scenes.
Speaking later he said: "I have never made a hole-in-one in a tournament in my life and to make it at that moment was probably the most surreal moment I will have in my life.
"I'm living a dream and making sure I enjoy this moment. It's not going to get better than this, no chance in hell."
Winner Brooks Koepka met up with Block ahead of their dual trophy ceremony - the Wanamaker Trophy for Koepka, low club professional honours for Block.
"I heard you're buying drinks," Koepka said.
Block earned $US290,000 ($A436,000) in prizemoney.
"We're going to have a crazy good time tonight, and I look forward to it," he told reporters.
"My life's changed. but my life's only changed for the better. I've got my family. I've got my friends. I've got the people that really love me and care about me here. It's been an epic experience."
Shortly after the awards ceremony, Block received a phone call informing him he's been invited to compete in the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge tournament in Texas.
"I'm in next week as the last sponsor's exemption, which is really even more mind-boggling now," Block said.
"This week's been absolutely a dream. I didn't know it was going to happen, but I knew if I just played my darned game, right, that I could do this. I always knew it."
with The AP and PA