Michael Block birdied the second extra hole to win a playoff over Jamie Broce and claim the title at the PGA Professional National Championship.
Block shot an even-par 72 Wednesday at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club to erase a three-shot deficit to Broce, who had led after both the second and third rounds. Block, who is the head professional at Arroyo Trubaco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif., finished the week at 2-under 286, and the 38-year-old became just the ninth player to win the event in his first appearance. As champion, he receives $75,000 and six exemptions into PGA Tour events over the next 12 months, plus a spot in his first PGA Championship in August.
"I wasn't in any ads or pictures or anything before this, so I came in under the radar," Block said. "I'm a little more known on my cul-de-sac than I am here, so when I got here there was no pressure on me."
While Block's haul as champion is an impressive one, the main prizes this week in Myrtle Beach were the 20 berths available to this season's final major. Block and Broce both punched their tickets to Valhalla Golf Club, as did Stuart Deane, Frank Esposito, Rod Perry, Bob Sowards, Dustin Volk, David Hronek, Johan Kok, Dave Tentis, Steve Schneiter, Rob Corcoran, Aaron Krueger, Dave McNabb and Jerry Smith, who all finished at 4-over 292 or better.
A playoff was required to determine the final five spots, as six players tied for 16th at 5-over 293. Ryan Helminen, Brian Norman, Matt Pesta and Eric Williamson were the first four players to advance, while the final spot came down to Curtis Malm and former PGA Tour winner Jim McGovern. When Malm was unable to complete the fifth playoff hole, McGovern earned the 20th and final berth into the field at Valhalla.