Club professional Michael Block high on US PGA Championship leaderboard
Club professional Michael Block remarkably found himself high on the leaderboard as Oak Hill continued to provide a stiff test in the 105th US PGA Championship.
Block, who is one of 20 PGA professionals in the field in Rochester and the head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in California, carded a second consecutive 70 for a halfway total of level par.
And that was just one behind early clubhouse leader and playing partner Taylor Pendrith, the Canadian added a second round of 69 to his opening 70 to finish one under.
“I am having a great time,” Block, 46, said after a round containing four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey on the fifth, which was the result of a dreaded shank off the tee.
“I have no pressure, I have a job and a pay cheque waiting for me at my club. I don’t have to make putts to pay for my mortgage.
“This is a beautiful thing I have here. I’m a very lucky guy and I’m looking forward to playing on Saturday and Sunday.”
First-round leader Bryson DeChambeau, who carded an opening four-under-par 66, was in the penultimate group on Friday and not scheduled to begin round two until 1431 local time.
DeChambeau had company at the top of the leaderboard when fellow former US Open champion Justin Rose covered his first seven holes in three under par, despite not hitting a single fairway in regulation.
Rose, who had completed an opening 69 by chipping in for birdie on the 18th when play resumed at 7am on Friday morning, dropped a shot on the same hole in round two to drop back to three under.
World number one Jon Rahm was among the players who faced an uphill battle to make the halfway cut.
Seeking back-to-back major titles following his Masters triumph at Augusta National last month, Rahm birdied his opening hole in the first round before slumping to a six-over-par 76.
US Open champion and playing partner Matt Fitzpatrick failed to make a single birdie as he recorded the same score, but Rory McIlroy had fought back from three over par after nine holes to post a 71 despite struggling with an unspecified illness.
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