Michael Block was a godsend for the PGA Tour over the weekend, as the league’s championship was hijacked by Brooks Koepka, and it desperately needed a storyline to distract people from a LIV player winning a major for the time since any of the big names defected. It was only a matter of majors before one of the money-grubbing jerkoffs over on the Saudi tour did this, and the sole bright spot was how long it took to happen.
Rory McIlroy has stopped talking about the feud, the lawsuit against the PGA is being held up because LIV doesn’t want to divulge its finances, and the CW is cutting off the finish of LIV tournaments for Goldberg reruns. Combine that with casual fans’ confusion over what is the fourth major (because in 2019 they moved it to May for whatever reason), and the collective response to Koepka’s win was a shoulder shrug.
Fans didn’t want to praise LIV or Brooks, who took home his third major, so they obsessed over a nice story in Michael Block, which I’m not going to hate on. The guy genuinely seems like he’d be a blast on the 19th hole, and I’m grateful that his hole-in-one and top-15 finish saved Christmas.
How did the PGA let this happen?
Despite the major being branded as the “PGA Championship,” the tournament is still its own entity, and the organizers want the best players because they want the best possible event. Why do they want the best possible event? This is America; don’t be naive.
So, four times a year — and maybe more if Ryder Cup captains are as callus as major organizers — we’re going to be subjected to LIV golfers showing up and talking about how hard they had it on the PGA Tour. Phil Mickelson will prattle on about unfair labor practices while gambling away half his earnings, and the gallery might as well be following him with a string section.
Nobody feels bad for Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Cam Smith, or any of the other names currently toiling away in obscurity on the CW. They choose this existence, and tough shit if Brooks got outshined by a sideshow the one time out of the past 11 months that he’s actually mattered in real golf.
I don’t know what’s more ironic (or, honestly, what’s ironic): A LIV golfer winning the PGA-branded major, or a sideshow out-sideshowing the sideshow.
Block’s 15 minutes gets extended; Brooks returns to the salt mines
Block’s affability, more so than his golf, earned him a sponsor’s exemption for this weekend’s Charles Schwab Challenge, and while he’s teeing off Thursday afternoon, Brooks-y will be headed to the Trump National Golf Club in Washington D.C. for this weekend’s LIV scramble. (Full disclosure: I don’t know if it’s a scramble because I don’t care to learn the format. It could be Top Golf for all I care.)
This is really what golf deserves. It’s a country club sport that’s inaccessible to most of the population, run by a bunch of stuffy white guys whose handicap is a stand-in for their inseam, and it took infinitely less time to reopen its doors to people of its ilk than to allow minorities and women at all.
So I apologize if I’m too jaded to toast a Michelob Ultra to Michael Block, and I remain steadfast in my assessment that playing the sport is far superior to following it.