Ever heard of Tommy Aycock and Lonnie Nielsen? Props if you have. Aycock tied for 11th at the 1974 PGA Championship at Tanglewood Park, in Clemmons, N.C., and 12 years later, Nielsen matched the feat at the 1986 edition at Inverness Club, in Toledo, Ohio. Their finishes were significant because both players were club professionals, and in the 105-year history of the PGA Championship, no other club pro has placed higher.
Nope, not even Michael Block.
Ever heard of Michael Block? Of course you have! If you were anywhere near a phone, television or grill room over the past four days, surely Block — who also is a club professional, from the Southern California section — crossed your radar as he unexpectedly ascended the leaderboard at the 105th PGA Championship. With three remarkably steady rounds of even-par 70 capped by a one-over 71, Block tied for 15th in the season’s second major. Among the players he beat: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and so many other major-winners and Ryder Cuppers.