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Michael Block's Improbable Rise: Should Bettors Fade Him This Weekend?

Michael Block's Improbable Rise: Should Bettors Fade Him This Weekend?

Club pro Michael Block stole the show at the PGA Championship last weekend. Block lived the dream of every recreational golfer in America, going from happy to be there, to making the cut, to making a hole in one with Rory McIlroy watching, and now he has an invite to multiple more PGA Tour events this season, including this weekend's Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial. Just how improbable was his rise, and if history has anything to show for it - should bettors expect Michael Block to do it again?

Also, make sure you visit Dimers all golf season, where we'll be feeding you our PGA best bets on a weekly basis. These PGA predictions are made with our predictive analytics model and world-class artificial intelligence, and our data has already found some nice edges to start the year. 

How improbable was Michael Block's T15 finish?

Michael Block wasn't a household name until this past weekend - but just how improbable was his run at the PGA Championship? The 46-year old club pro from California had a flight booked home before the weekend heading into Thursday. Thanks to his great play, he was forced into a change of plans.

This isn't Block's first payday. He has played 24 PGA Tour events and made just four cuts, the last one back in 2015. Block has also won paid tournaments outside of the official PGA Tour, winning Club Professional championships. But his primary income has still come from the lessons he teaches weekly at his home course.

That's why it was such a surprise when he rocketed up the leaderboard on Thursday and Friday. Prior to the first hole of the PGA Championship, our model listed Michael Block as a less than 0.1% probability just to finish Top 20 in the field. You could have bet him to finish T20 or higher at +30000 odds, meaning a $10 bet would have won $3,000.

What can we expect going forward?

MORE: History of Club Professionals on the PGA Tour

Block is the first club professional to finish in the top 40 at the PGA Championship since Steve Schneiter back in 2005. While at the time much like Block, Schneiter became the story of the weekend, he did not go onto greater success. Schneiter never made the cut again at the PGA Championship in his five other appearances. In fact after his impressive finish in 2005, Schneiter went on to miss the cut in 21 of his next 25 events.

While Schneiter's starts were few and far between, Block has already been summoned to the next tournament on the PGA Tour, the Charles Schwab Challenge.

While it is a fantastic story that has rightfully captured the hearts of golf fans everywhere, it would be a surprise to see Block replicate his success again next weekend. He has missed the cut 80% of the time in his previous 25 starts on the PGA Tour. Emotions will be high, and there won't be much time for a come down before he is right back on the first tee - this time with cameras flashing everywhere waiting to see what he will do next.

Best Ways to Bet Michael Block

It pains us to say this, but it might be time to fade our beloved Michael Block.

Most sportsbooks currently have Michael Block listed nearly as a pickem to make or miss the cut. His initial odds to make the cut are set at +100 odds, with his odds to miss the cut at -130.

Given his track record of missing cuts at an 80% rate, and the historical precedence of one-hit-wonder club professionals before him, it's hard to envision Block making much noise again this weekend.

We recommend taking Block to miss the cut at anywhere below -150 odds.

Dimers' Golf H2H Matchup Tool compares our model's head-to-head probabilities for golfers competing in the current PGA Tour tournament. Choose your players and switch between Fair Odds or Percentages.

 
Greg Waddell
Creative Strategist

Greg Waddell is a self-proclaimed college basketball addict, with an affinity for parlays and fantasy football trades. He's based in Michigan, where he hasn't seen one of his professional sports teams win anything of any importance since he was in diapers.

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