Michael Block, PGA
2014 PGA Professional
PGA Professional National Championship
The 47th PGA Professional National Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA made a return visit to South Carolina when the PGA of America's showcase event for PGA Professionals was held at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and the Grande Dunes Resort Club in in Myrtle Beach.
Michael Block, PGA head professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, made a three-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to defeat Jamie Broce and become the ninth player to win the National Championship in his first attempt. He closed with an even-par 72 to force a playoff at 2-under-par 286 with Broce, the men's golf coach at the University of Toledo, who posted a 75 after leading the Championship since the ninth hole of the second round.
Block joins Jeff Freeman (1999) as the only Southern California PGA members to win the National Championship and hoist the Walter Hagen Cup.
"It's amazing to be sitting here as a National Champion. I wasn't leading that Championship for one second until that putt dropped on the second playoff hole," said Block.
Stuart Deane of Arlington, Texas, the PGA teaching professional at Rolling Hills Country Club, finished third at 287; followed by Frank Esposito Jr. of Monroe Township, New Jersey at 288.
Former National Champions Rod Perry of Port Orange, Florida, and Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, shared fifth at 289 with Dustin Volk of Layton, Utah.
The low 20 scorers earned a berth in the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, August 7-10, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Steve Schneiter of Sandy, Utah, the 1995 National Champion, earned his 12th PGA Championship trip after matching Esposito, at 69, for the best rounds of the day. Esposito, 51, will make his second PGA Championship trip.
Karen Paolozzi, who closed with a 74, finished tied for 49th, which is the best overall performance by a woman PGA member in the National Championship. Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Connecticut, the first woman PGA member to make the cut in the Championship, tied for 64th in 2005.
This year, the top 90 scores and ties advanced to the third round. After that, there was a 54-hole cut with the traditional top 70 scores and ties advancing.
The Philadelphia Cricket Club will host the 48th PGA Professional National Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA, June 21-24, 2015.