I seldom start a column with sports but the best feel-good story around is that of Michael Block, a golf club pro from Mission Viejo, Calif., who tied for 15th place in the recent PGA Championship.
OK, Block, who has competed in other tour events, was paired up with Justin Rose on Saturday and Rory McIlroy on Sunday. That alone should have you quaking in your boots.
On Sunday Block gets to the 15th hole and jars his drive for a hole-in-one. Rory gave him a big hug before Block fully realized he aced the hole.
Of course, the crowd went wild! One second the ball is in the air and the next, right to the bottom of the cup — Block’s first hole-in-one.
He joked that his wife would probably nudge him to raise his $150 per session lessons rate, after he collected $288,333 for his 15th place finish. Which is a lot more than the money he’s won playing in 20-plus other PGA Tour events.
As the Cinderella golfer in the tourney, he got waivers to play in two other PGA events.
But through it all he kept his humble ways.
“I’m living a dream and making sure I enjoy this moment,” Block said. “I’ve learned that in my 46 years of life that it’s not going to get better than this, no way — no chance in hell. I’m going to enjoy this.”
And because of his placement he automatically gets to participate in the 2024 PGA Championship where we’ll get another chance to see him tee it up — and probably beat some of those young whippersnappers on the tour.
Home on the range
It seems that in Texas they are not about to take a back seat to the cultural wars being waged in Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Oh no, Texas won’t stand being left behind.
Total ban on abortion? Check. Criminalizing anyone helping someone get an abortion? Check. Working to get the Bible and prayers back in schools? Of course.
I’ve always had a hard time with those who want to return prayer to schools. It’s not the idea of prayer in school per se, but whose prayers?
Those promoting the return of prayer to schools are not Hindus. Or Buddhists. Or Muslims.
Oh no, dear people, it is evangelical Christians.
It is not just Texas — there were about 1,600 bills introduced nationally that would allow prayers or religion generally into schools.
Entangling religion and public institutions can have unexpected results.
The town council of Sahuarita just north of where we live in the winter opened their meetings with a religious start. Local pastors would offer up prayers.
That is until the Satanic Temple of nearby Tucson approached the council and said it was their turn to start the meeting. They got their opportunity.
Phoenix, however, ditched its invocations after the Temple approached them.
See the very good reason to separate church and state?
The abortion issue in Texas is even worse.
The near-total ban has become a nightmare for physicians and an emotional and incredulous ordeal for the women of Texas.
Thirteen women have filed suit to have the laws changed for taking care of women who have miscarried, whose babies would die immediately after birth or the mother may get life-ending infections.
Noted Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times, “Elizabeth Weller, for example, was hospitalized after her water broke at 19 weeks. She was given antibiotics and, according to the suit, instructed to pray. Her OB/GYN concluded that, without an abortion, she risked an infection and could lose her uterus or even her life. The hospital administration, however, refused to clear the procedure because the antibiotics made such an infection less likely.
“Elizabeth was told that she could either discontinue antibiotics and stay in the hospital to wait to develop an infection and get sicker; or she could go home and look out for signs of infection,” said the filing. She went home. “With every passing day, I felt the state’s intentional cruelty,” Weller said during a news conference. “My baby would not survive and my life didn’t matter.” Her doctor, she said, called around trying to find another hospital that would treat her. “All of those hospitals told my doctor that they have patients just like me in those situations and they can’t touch them,” she said.
Note that Weller said she felt the state’s “intentional cruelty.”
If the state of Texas really cared about the women and unborn in the state, you’d think they wouldn’t want women dying to prove the point.
— Kendall P. Stanley is retired editor of the News-Review. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily of the Petoskey News-Review or its employees.
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Kendall Stanley: A little good news