Call Rory McIlroy a skeptic of Michael Block’s now infamous view that with McIlroy’s driving game he could be the best player in the world.
“Whether he’s going to be No. 1 in the world, I can’t believe it,” McIlroy told GOLF’s Subpar co-hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on this week’s episode.
block was The Cinderella’s story in golf this year, as he played his way into the race at Oak Hill as a club pro competing in the PGA Championship, securing a final-round pairing with McIlroy. On Sunday, the 46-year-old scored an ace in front of the whole world on his way to a stunning T15 result. He made a crucial up-and-down on the 72nd hole to secure an invitation to next year’s PGA in Valhalla.
That final scramble was part of a long list of brilliant plays around the greens from Block, who struggled to keep up with some of the game’s longest players off the tee. After the tournament ended, Block expressed in an interview that he believed he could be the best golfer in the world if only he had McIlroy’s length off the tee.
“Oh my God, anything I would shoot from where Rory hits it would be stupid,” Block said. “I think I would be one of the best players in the world.”
In her interview, Knost asked what Rory thought of Block’s confidence.
But McIlroy, the current world No. 3, did not appear offended by the comments. Instead, he told this previously unknown story from their lap Sunday at Oak Hill.
On the 72nd hole, Block missed his second shot on the 497-yard, uphill par-4, short and left. The pin was clipped close to the left corner of the green over a bunker. He needed a par to maintain a top-15 finish and secure a return to the 2024 PGA Championship.
“He was down in the crowd and it was a blind shot,” McIlroy recalled. “It was like there was no way this guy was going to get this thing up and down.”
Block then hit one of the shots of the tournament, landing his ball in the rough between the green and the bunker and sending it flying out eight feet.
Chaos ensued when Block emerged from the crowd below the 18th and reached the putting surface.
“So Michael comes on the green, marks his ball and gives it to Harry, my caddy, to clean for him,” McIlroy said. “And Harry asked Blockie, ‘Is your short game normally that good?'”
His answer was top Michael Block.
“He says, ‘No, it’s usually better,'” McIlroy said.
“It’s great! How much confidence is that?”
We shouldn’t have to tell you, but Block made the putt.
To hear the rest of McIlroy’s Subpar interview, including lots of talk about the Ryder Cup, more about his round with Block and what might be holding him back at the Masters, check out the link below.
https://golf.com/news/rory-mcilroy-michael-block-story-pga/ Rory McIlroy has an A+ Michael Block story from the PGA Championship