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Only ‘six people’ knew of Michael Block when he last played in the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

On his championship debut, Block missed the cut. He did the same two years later. Then again in 2018, again in 2022. But there needs no introduction for what happened at Oak Hill last year.

In his fifth start in the PGA of America’s flagship event, Block – at the age of 46 – set up the year of his life.

But with fame, PGA Tour starts and podcast appearances, came misplaced anger. It was a reception so far stretched from that in Rochester, New York.

And as the championship returns next week, ten years on from his first, Block is hopeful that the Louisville galleries will embrace him.

“I hope they’re all rooting for me and having a great time,” he told bunkered.

“I’m going to give every single one of them a high five, I’ll take all the pictures and autographs in the world during the practice rounds, and I just hope to get the same camaraderie as I did with the Rochester fans.

“Golf is an up and down game, so I hope I’m firing on all cylinders, but if I’m not then that’s okay.”

Michael Block PGA Championship fans
Michael Block celebrating with Rory McIlroy after a hole-in-one at Oak Hill.

Repeating the heroics of 12 months ago is unlikely. There’s a “99.9%” chance he won’t, Block says, but it won’t be for a lack of trying. The main difference this time will be expectation.

“I had zero pressure last year, literally zero,” he said. “I wasn’t expected to make the cut, I wasn’t expected to play well at the weekend, so the pressure level has ratcheted up quite a bit, which I’m okay with.”

After captivating the world, he was being trash-talked by Tiger Woods, playing with Jack Nicklaus and congratulated by Michael Jordan.

“I was over a shot at a pro-am in Cabot, Saint Lucas,” Block recalls. “I hear somebody saying in my backswing ‘do you ever work?’ Next thing, I look behind me and Tiger Woods has a big smile on his face.

“Then, that night I’m playing a charity pro-am under the lights on a par 3 and Jack Nicklaus comes over, grabs my putter and makes a 30-footer to win the pro-am.

“I’ve had a lot of dreams come true over the last year and I would do them all again. I was beat when I went and played Colonial, but there’s no way I would say no.

“Life is never going to be quite the same as it was and I’m a little worn out to tell the truth, but if I had to do it again, I’d do exactly the same.”

• Jimmy Walker: I knew I was going to win the PGA Championship

The California club pro completed his final scouting mission ahead of the tournament last weekend, as he fine tunes his game at the site of the 106th edition.

And we’re just two rounds away from another Block party, as making the cut at Valhalla spells celebrations.

“I’ll do my best in the first two rounds, hopefully make the cut and then going into the weekend it would just be a big party. Everyone would have a good time in Louisville and then it wouldn’t matter if I was 60th or 15th.

“I’m not afraid of planning it early.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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