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Michael Block still grateful after opening-round 81 at Charles Schwab

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Michael Block still grateful after opening-round 81 at Charles Schwab

Day includes heroic par from bridge on par-4 10th hole at Colonial CC

    Written by Kevin Robbins @kdanielrobbins

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Michael Block took his first question Thursday after the opening day of the Charles Schwab Challenge.

    “How would you assess that round?” the club professional was asked. “And how would you rate that experience today?”

    “It’s one of those days of golf,” Block replied. “If you play golf, you know exactly what just happened.”

    What happened was an 11-over 81, a last-place finish by four, on a windless, rainless, warm-but-not-hot afternoon at Colonial Country Club. It was those three straight bogeys to start the round in the presence of the biggest gallery of spectators at the tournament. It was consecutive doubles without a penalty stroke on the 15th and 16th. It was a smothered wedge on the par-4 18th that traveled 44 yards, the kind of little touch shot that Block has executed skillfully a thousand times in his life, and the one he confronted Thursday with so much disbelief that he turned his back to the flight of his ball before it even landed.

    “It is what it is,” he said — of the shot, the round, the score and the entire experience of the last 14 days.

    “I’m going to live with it.”

    Michael Block saves par from bridge at Charles Schwab

    Then he thought about his wife and two sons. He mentioned being able to see them all Friday night in California. He soon was unable to continue.

    Block tried to but kept having to pause. It seemed like the reality and weight of the last two weeks — the 70-70 start at the PGA Championship, the ace there on Sunday, the tie for 15th place, the ensuing flood of publicity, the full-faucet stream of stories, the one-after-the-other media interviews, the sponsor exemption into the Charles Schwab Challenge, the endorsement deals, the “Here for the BLOCK PARTY” T-shirts at Colonial — had finally become too much.

    “How much did fatigue play a part in this today?” he was asked.

    “I don’t know,” he answered.

    Block had seen the course just once, a quick practice round Tuesday. Two days later, he made two birdies, five pars, seven bogeys and three double bogeys in his first TOUR start at Colonial.

    “I thought it was going to happen that third or fourth round last week at Oak Hill, and it never happened,” Block said.

    “It happened now, and I wasn't surprised by it, to tell you the truth.”

    Block took another moment to compose himself.

    “I’m not disappointed,” he said. “I’m going to go home tomorrow night.”

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