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May 14, 2024

Michael Block

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by PGA of America golf professional and Corebridge Financial Team member Michael Block. Michael, welcome to your sixth PGA Championship. Made your PGA Championship debut right here 10 years ago. What do you remember most about that experience?

MICHAEL BLOCK: You know, great golf course. Valhalla is just a spectacular track. I have not heard one negative thing said from any player or caddie this entire week. Only positives. It's very fair. Kerry always sets up the PGA Championship, so I'm excited to get out there and tee it up.

2014 was great, and the course has I think gained a couple hundred yards, but the rough is getting a little wet this afternoon, but it's going to -- it will be a good time. Just keep it in the short grass for sure.

Q. Starting with 2014, I mean there was weather, there was everything then. And also you were a rookie. This is like your seventh major. So how do you prepare for these conditions and what do you do?

MICHAEL BLOCK: Just try to get every club dialed in. Basically I don't want any clubs to be a detriment to my game that I'm trying to play against. If your short game's weak, then you put too much stress on your irons to try to hit the green. If your driver's bad, you're putting your irons -- you're going to be playing out of the rough, playing behind the 8-ball the entire time. So it's that type of thing that that works.

So right now I'm just dialing in, trying to get all 14 clubs so I go out there and there's no stress, and then it comes down to golf. You play as good as you can and try not to get frustrated when you hit a bad shot because there is going to be a bad shot, and just have a good time. That's how I play at my best.

Q. Take us back to the magical carpet ride of last year and just what clicked for you that week and how do you explain that experience to others?

MICHAEL BLOCK: Yeah, that was a magical carpet ride for sure. I literally felt like that the entire week, to tell you the truth. It was just almost kind of a blur, surreal moment, exactly what you sitting at home would think it's like. It's to a tee just like that.

It's like if somebody walked up to your house and they -- obviously those people winning 10 million dollars when someone walks up to their house and knocks and the door and they open it. That's exactly how it felt for me minus the 10 million dollars, but just the whole, what just happened right now.

I wouldn't trade any part of it for the world. I've loved every moment of it. The people I've met, the places I've been able to go, the tournaments I've been able to play in. Hopefully it inspires a lot more people to do the same.

Q. What did you learn about yourself that week?

MICHAEL BLOCK: I couldn't believe that my game held up for four straight days at Oak Hill. That golf course is so hard. Just a spectacular golf course. Especially when we lost the roll going into Saturday when it rained and I had that 2:10 tee time with Rosie, to shoot that 70 that day and then at 71 under the world's eye of golf with Rory on Sunday, I couldn't believe that the 47-year-old club pro's swing and putting stroke somehow held up during that time.

Q. We got to visit with you at Oak Hill, but what was it like when you got home and just the reception, how has life changed at the club?

MICHAEL BLOCK: Yeah, it's a lot different. The sad part is I haven't been able to teach since then. I've been so busy and on the road and playing and all types of things, so I had to give off all my students to fellow instructors, which was a bummer, but they're in good hands. My door has to stay shut in my office, which is a bummer. Usually it's open and I can say hi to the assistants and everyone that's walking through, but it's been such an onslaught of people and things like that, I can't keep my door open.

So it's crazy, but like I said, everyone's enjoying it back at the club. I have full support from the management and the ownership there, and the assistant pros that have literally taken the golf club under their wing while I've been gone, I can't thank them enough for what they have done.

Q. You got to meet the other 20 Corebridge Financial Team members. Very tough conditions in Frisco. What were your impressions of them and who do you think could make it to the weekend this year?

MICHAEL BLOCK: Yeah, so there's a couple guys, there's so many good players out of that 20, it's crazy. I don't know all of them, but you have a lot of experience there. You got a ton of talent. You got a ton of guys that absolutely move it, bomb it. I've been told this John Somers guy, who I've yet to meet, is probably one of the longest players in the field. I also know Braden Shattuck, who won last year. He bombs it. Great player. He almost made the cut last week in Myrtle Beach, unbelievable talent.

Then Ben Polland, who won the National Championship this year is an absolute stud. He's flawless. His game is so steady. It's perfect for a major championship. Wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if any of those guys -- and Wyatt Worthington or one of the others did quite well.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks for your time, Michael.

MICHAEL BLOCK: You got it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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