Former UMSL golfer Michael Block tees off at the 18th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club on Thursday. Block, the head professional at a golf club in Mission Viejo, California, qualified for the tournament through the PGA Professional Championship in June. Block shot a 5-over 75 during the first round Thursday. (Photo by Steve Walentik)
Former University of Missouri–St. Louis golfer Michael Block will be first off the tee Thursday morning when the 100th PGA Championship officially gets underway, a few miles from where he grew up, at Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country, Missouri.
Block, now the head professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, is set to play alongside Eddie Pepperell and Ryan Fox beginning at 6:50 a.m.
He’ll be mostly out of view of the bigger crowds that are sure to be following the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth later in the day. But it’s hard to imagine Block complaining.
As Block recently relayed to GolfDigest.com, he’s made it his goal for the past six years to play in this tournament at this course – the same one he attended as a kid in 1992 when Nick Price won and Payne Stewart signed his program.
The magazine explored the trials Block endured to qualify for the tournament and the important role his 13-year-old son, Dylan, played in helping him do so while serving as his caddie during the PGA Professional Championship in June.
Block, who played at UMSL during the 1996-97 season after transferring from Mississippi State, will be making his third appearance in the PGA Championship. He also twice has qualified for the U.S. Open, including earlier this year at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York.
He first qualified for the PGA …