May 23, 2023
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Michael Block to the media center here at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Thanks for making a little time with us, Michael. I know we've got a short period of time with you, but I guess the first question is what has this last couple of days been like for you after your sensational week last week?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I've said it a lot, but it's just a dream. I'm just cruising. I'm actually kind of glad that at this point I haven't come to the reality about what's happening so I can actually play pretty good golf.
I think, if I sit down and think about it too much, I'm not sure I could swing the club on Thursday.
THE MODERATOR: You teach lessons for a living. What lessons have you learned about time management the last few days that you could pass on to maybe some of your students?
MICHAEL BLOCK: You need a team. I hear the guys getting a lot of crap about their teams out here and no longer do I think that's crap. I think it's great, and they need it.
There's a lot going on, and I really apologize to all my friends and fans and PGA members out there that have texted me. I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I literally scroll and scroll and scroll, and it's never ending. I can't even get to the bottom of any of my feeds to even see how many or who's seeing me. So it's been crazy.
THE MODERATOR: Just before we take some questions here, you've had a chance to look at the golf course, I think today. I don't know how many holes you played, but what are your first thoughts on Colonial?
MICHAEL BLOCK: Today was my first time on property here at Colonial. I absolutely love it. The people have been amazing. The invitation was fantastic, obviously from Charles Schwab and everyone here.
I've only been here on property for 20 hours in town, and everyone has been absolutely endearing. The volunteers have been amazing. I've made sure to pretty much meet every single one of them that's out there today.
Yeah, the course is great. The course fits my eye. A lot of cuts off the tee. You've got to be pretty straight. And the greens are perfect. I've got a nice little ryegrass around the green. To be honest, it fits me a lot better than it did last week.
Q. Did you bring clothes with you? Did you have to stop at the store? What did you have to do?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I got the same bag. My wife packed it very quickly over in New York yesterday, and then I had to jump on a plane and come over. I have, I think in my locker, a new package of clothes for this week, so thank God because I'm not very good at doing laundry.
Q. I heard you on the radio yesterday where you said someone offered you $30,000 for your 7-iron. Are you going to accept the offer? Are you going to keep the club? What's the plan?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I've had a couple different offers actually. It's crazy, right? I've had a couple different offers, and the initial response was it was $50,000 and I'd hand deliver it. Kind of kiddingly, but I guess not really anymore.
But I've had other people ask about it to maybe have it preserved in certain spots for the PGA, et cetera, stuff like that. So it's up in the air. For right now it just needs to hit shots in there close for me, and I'll go from there.
Q. Michael, there's been a lot of press for Arroyo the last two days. What does this all mean, not just for the club, but for golf in South Orange County as a whole?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I hope it means a lot of good things. Golf has been on a big boom since COVID. Our club has been doing great prior to this. It will always be doing great one way or the other, whether this happens or not, with or without me. We have such a great facility on 240 acres right in the middle of southern Orange County.
Yeah, the Rancho Mission Viejo company that owns it and the Donovan brothers that run it, everyone there -- I don't know what it's like. I've seen videos. It looks amazing. It looks really cool. I can't wait to get back and celebrate with everybody that's there working while I'm out here living a dream.
Q. Your manager for the club is here with you right now?
MICHAEL BLOCK: Yes. I'm the head golf professional, and my director of operations is here, who's a PGA member, and my general manager will be flying back in, I believe, tomorrow. His daughter goes to TCU, so he can't wait to get back here.
Q. Just wondering, out of all the incredible experiences you've had within the last week, what has been the most encouraging takeaway for you personally?
MICHAEL BLOCK: That my golf game's good enough. Yeah, that my games can hang with these guys. It's been a weird week for me. Sorry, I apologize.
THE MODERATOR: No need to apologize.
Q. You mentioned a minute ago you're kind of glad you're not waking up so you can kind of go with the dream. How do you feel physically and mentally?
MICHAEL BLOCK: Great question. Horrible choice of black pants today. Horrible choice. I don't have any shorts with me at all. So I'm going to try to get some shorts here this afternoon at least when I'm out here practicing tomorrow, I'll have some shorts on.
Yeah, it's crazy. But, yeah, this heat's good. On the back nine here today, I started getting pretty tired, getting a little worn out. The sun is really hot out there. It's really humid. I'm just trying to drink as much water as I can and rehydrate and come in here.
I'm really looking forward to having some sushi tonight. I'm pretty excited about that.
Q. Michael, what's been the biggest surprise of the last few days?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I mean, getting a text from Michael Jordan today, that's -- I'm a big Jordan guy my whole life. I was a little kid in Iowa saving 100 bucks for a pair of Jordans back in the day. Pretty darn cool, to say the least.
Q. Could you share what he had to say.
MICHAEL BLOCK: It was something in the way that what he saw is why he loves the game of golf so much.
Q. I guess that answers my next question of the most unexpected person that you've heard from.
MICHAEL BLOCK: It was him for sure. A lot of different people, though, have been hitting me up. A lot of people have been giving me support even before it happened.
One of my best friends is Albert Pujols, and I was able to watch him. I went to almost all of the games when he was a Dodger, when he was close to me, and would follow him around as a St. Louis Cardinal too. To be around him and to see what he did at a similar age to me and to watch his professionalism and his willpower.
To be around guys like that really, really helps. I also play a lot of golf with Patrick Cantlay, who as you know is robotic. I'm the opposite, the opposite, but at least I can put a little bit of that into my golf game. And learn from these absolutely wonderful human beings and athletes.
Q. How comfortable are you with all of this?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I've been around it in a weird kind of small way in little tidbits here and there over the last ten years. So I'm somewhat comfortable with it. I mean, I'm not -- it's just weird now where I come up through a gate and the guys at the gate are screaming block party when I'm going through, and the guy making me an omelet gave me knuckles and said I did awesome last week.
I mean, that's the part where it's a little beyond me at this point. So it's cool, but I'm trying to enjoy it. I feel somewhat natural with it, so it's cool.
Q. And just as a follow-up, not to put a big damper on this, but inevitably this ends in some way at some point. Have you thought about that, or are you just riding it out?
MICHAEL BLOCK: Yeah, I don't really know what the future is going to hold whatsoever. I'm not trying to guess what's going to happen. I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. I just show up on Thursday and tee it up with Min, which is a buddy of mine, which is great, so super comfortable pairing, and just have fun.
Just keep doing exactly what I've been doing, exactly what I did last week, and exactly how honestly I've lived my whole life. Whatever comes of it comes of it. I'll enjoy it one way or the other. I've got a great life both ways. So it's good all the way.
Q. Did Jordan get a response from you?
MICHAEL BLOCK: Oh, yeah. I told him that I just want to be in one of his 36-hole games.
Q. And what's the connection to Pujols, and how did that come about?
MICHAEL BLOCK: Came about, one of my best friends back in Orange County -- I'm a member at Dove Canyon Golf Club, and one of the other members is Nick Punto, who was a baseball player with the Angels and a couple of other places. Nick and I have been great friends for a long time, and he had a bunch of baseball guys out one day, and he asked me to play. He said, yeah, you're with Pujols. I was like what? I'm like that's cool.
So played with Albert, and I shot like 64 or something like that, and he's like, we need to play. We need to keep playing some golf. He goes, you want to play tomorrow? I'm like yeah. So we've become good buds. I'm going to his wedding in the Dominican on December 15th, which will be a lot of fun, to say the least.
THE MODERATOR: Michael, I know your son has caddied for you in the past. This was an unexpected tournament to get into. Will you have the same caddie as you had last week?
MICHAEL BLOCK: I do. John Jackson, full-time Pebble Beach caddie, great player in his own right. He came and covered for me last year because my kid couldn't caddie for me until Wednesday of the Southern Hills PGA Championship. So John came and caddied for me on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday last year.
This year my kid couldn't caddie again at all, so I invited John to come out and be my boy on the bag. John did an amazing job. He's this super chill cat that keeps you really grounded and keeps you level. He loves talking about anything but golf walking down the fairway, which was huge last week.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We appreciate you making time for us, and good luck next week.
MICHAEL BLOCK: Cheers. Thanks for having me.
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