PGA professional Michael Block had a very lucrative week at the PGA Championship, with a tie for 15th bringing him $288,333 — a lot more his usual lesson load for a week at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif., at $150 per hour.
He had the chance to add even more to his bankroll and declined — but he does have a price.
Block said during an interview session at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, the site of this week’s PGA Tour Charles Schwab Challenge, that he was offered $30,000 for the 7-iron he used to make a hole-in-one at No. 15 at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
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“I’ve had a couple different offers actually … it’s crazy, right?” he said. “[My] initial response was it was $50,000 and I’d hand deliver it. Kind of kiddingly, but I guess not really anymore.”
Block said he still plans on using the club.
“It’s up in the air,” he said. “For right now it just needs to hit shots in there close for me, and I’ll go from there.”
Aside from the thrill of posting one of the best finishes by a club pro in PGA history, Block said the next biggest thrill he’s gotten was a text from Michael Jordan.
“I’m a big Jordan guy my whole life,” he said. “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.”
Block earned a sponsor invitation to Colonial. It will be the 26th start he’s made in a Tour event, a combination of invitations and qualifying through PGA Section events.
He’s made the cut at four tournaments, the 2013 Genesis Invitational, the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open and Sanderson Farm Championship and the 2015 Barbasol Championship.
Chitwood to run ’26 Presidents Cup
Joie Chitwood is adding another golf stop to a sports management resume that started with racing.
The PGA Tour announced on Tuesday that Chitwood, who was the president and COO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and instrumental in the construction of the Chicagoland Speedway, was named executive director of the 2026 Presidents Cup, which will be at the Medinah Country Club outside Chicago.
Chitwood previously was the vice president of corporate development for Arnold Palmer Enterprises. Among his duties in Orlando was tournament director of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Cup, a college team competition featuring the top U.S. and International players.
“I am thrilled to be named executive director of the 2026 Presidents Cup and look forward to returning to Chicago to guide what has become a staple of top global events in sports,” said Chitwood in a statement. “This city has a tremendous passion for golf as evidenced by the number of championships hosted through the years, and Medinah Country Club has played an incredible role in that history. We are going to engage the vibrant Chicagoland business community and its great sports fans to deliver an unforgettable week at the Presidents Cup.”
Chitwood started his career with the Indy Racing League in Indianapolis. He was later part of the executive leadership of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR for a joint venture to construct and operate the Chicagoland Speedway, a $135 million, 75,000-seat, racetrack facility on 900 acres in nearby Joliet, Ill.As vice president and general manager, Chitwood oversaw marketing, PR, sponsorships, ticketing, hospitality, operations, and legislative affairs for both the Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, delivering a sold-out inaugural season.
Chitwood later returned to run the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he oversaw all business functions for the world’s largest sporting venue and increased performance and revenue through reorganization and partnership development.
From 2009-19 he worked at the International Speedway Corporation in Daytona Beach, where he eventually became the executive vice president and COO. He was tasked with improving the nationwide performance of 13 motor racing facilities – including the Daytona International Speedway.
“Joie has a fantastic track record of growing sales and partnerships across some of the biggest arenas in sports, and we are excited to welcome him to the Presidents Cup team,” said Matt Rapp, the Tour’s senior vice president of Championship Management. “His leadership skills and knowledge of the Chicago business community will be a major asset for us leading into 2026, and I know he’s eager to get started on what is projected to be our biggest event ever.”
U.S. Open adds qualifiers
The United States Golf Association announced that 33 players, including major champions Jason Day and Patrick Reed, have earned full exemptions into the 2023 U.S. Open Championship June 15-18 at The Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course for finishing among the top-60 on the World Golf Rankings after last week’s PGA Championship.
Day, who will compete in his 11th U.S. Open and is a two-time runner-up, won the 2015 PGA Championship. Reed, the 2018 Masters champion will play in his 10th Open.
Tyrrell Hatton, at 18th in the world, is the highest-ranked player in the current OWGR who was not previously exempt into the U.S. Open.
Cameron Davis moved up 19 spots from his previous world ranking to No. 49 by tying for fourth in last week’s PGA Championship and will compete in his first U.S. Open.
The other players who earned full exemptions are Abraham Ancer, Wyndham Clark, Harris English and Keith Mitchell of St. Simons Island, Ga., Tommy Fleetwood, Ryan Fox, Rickie Fowler, Russell Henley, Lucas Herbert, Si Woo Kim, Chris Kirk, Kurt Kitayama, Matt Kuchar, Adrian Meronk, Taylor Moore, Alex Noren, Mito Pereira, Victor Perez, Thomas Pieters, Seamus Power and Adam Svensson.
Kuchar will compete in the U.S. Open for the 20th time.
Eight other players earned exemptions based on their performances in three additional categories. The top five players in the current PGA Tour FedExCup standings, who were not otherwise exempt, are Hayden Buckley, Mackenzie Hughes, Taylor Montgomery, Andrew Putnam and Nick Taylor. The top two players from the 2022 DP World Tour Final Points List, who were not otherwise exempt, are Thirston Lawrence and Jordan Smith. Min Woo Lee is the highest-ranked player on the current Race to Dubai Rankings who is not otherwise exempt.
Event: Charles Schwab Challenge, Thursday-Sunday, Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas.
At stake: $8.7 million purse ($1,566,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner).
Defending champion: Sam Burns.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m.); CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).Area players entered: Tyson Alexander, Harris English, Brian Harman, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox, David Lingmerth, J.T. Poston, Sam Ryder, Greyston Sigg.
Notable: Burns shot 65 in the final round to tie Scottie Scheffler, then drained a 38-foot birdie putt off the fringe on the first playoff hole to win. … Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler and Tommy Fleetwood join Scheffler to lead the field. … Scheffler regained No. 1 on the world golf rankings by tying for second in the PGA last week. … The only other top-10 player in the world in the field is Max Homa.
LIV GOLF LEAGUE
Event: LIV Golf-DC, Friday-Sunday, Trump National, Sterling, Va.
At stake: $20 million purse ($4 million to the winner).
Defending champion: First-time event.
TV: CW (Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m.).
Area players entered: Cameron Smith.
Notable: LIV member Brooks Koepka is coming off his PGA victory, his fifth major title. He also tied for second in the Masters. … After 18 LIV players were eligible for the Masters and 17 for the PGA, 12 will be in next month’s U.S. Open. … This is the final LIV event for a month before playing in Spain and England in July.
Event: Bank of Hope Match Play, Wednesday-Sunday, Shadow Creek Golf Club, Las Vegas.
At stake: $1.5 million purse ($225,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Eun-Hee Ji.
TV: Golf Channel (Wednesday, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, 7-10 p.m.; Friday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.).
Area players entered: None.
Notable: Ji defeated Ayaka Furue of Japan 3 and 2 in the championship match. … The first three days will be pool competition, getting to a final 16 for single-elimination on the weekend. … Only two of the top-10 in the world are in the field, Lilia Vu and Brooke Henderson.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Event: Senior PGA Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas.
At stake: $3.5 million purse ($630,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Steven Alker.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, 3-4 p.m.); NBC (Saturday, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4-6 p.m.).
Area players entered: Paul Claxton, Jim Furyk, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh.
Notable: Alker shot 64 in the first round and 63 in the fourth at Harbor Shores in Michigan to finish 16-under and beat Stephen Ames by three shots.
KORN FERRY TOUR
Event: Visit Knoxville Open, Thursday-Sunday, Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tenn.
At stake: $1 million purse ($180,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Anders Albertson.
Area players entered: A.J. Crouch, Taylor Dickson, Jared Wolfe.
Notable: Albertson opened with a 62 and then shot 65-66 on the weekend to edge Carl Yuan of Jacksonville by one shot.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Michael Block’s lucky 7-iron in high demand — but he’s keeping it