As Koepka landed his fifth major victory and became the first LIV Golf player to claim one of the game’s big titles, 46-year-old Californian club pro Block capped an incredible week by making a hole-in-one in the final round alongside Rory McIlroy.
It came at the 151-yard 15th and was a slam dunk with a 7-iron, sending the crowd at the Rochester venue wild as Block, who’d already written golf’s latest Cinderella story by getting himself in contention in the season’s second major after being among 20 PGA pros to qualify, celebrated back on the tee with McIlroy.
The ace, coupled with a brilliant up and down to save par at the last, helped Block finish in the top 15, earning him a whopping cheque for $288,333 and also a place in next year’s edition at Valhalla in Kentucky.
“Unbelievable,” said Block, who shared a huge hug with two-time winner McIlroy on the 18th green, of his week. “I would never have believed it and I’m going to go home the happiest guy in the world.”
He charges $150 for a lesson at his club and was stunned to hear his earnings in this event equated to 1920 of those. “That’s an awful lot of lessons, for sure,” he said, choking back tears.
Koepka will be defending the Wanamaker Trophy when Block steps back into the spotlight in Louisville in 12 months’ time and will be in that position for a third time after adding to back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019.
Having also claimed the US Open in 2017 and 2018, the 33-year-old has now has five majors to his name. He’s just the seventh player to reach that tally before turning 34, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods.
Koepka is also just the 20th player in total to win five or more majors and joins Nicklaus and Woods as the only players to land this prize in its stroke-play era.
“To be in with this group is incredible and I’m not sure if I even dreamed of it as a kid,” he admitted. This win came after he’d fought back from serious knee trouble and other injuriees.
"This is incredible; this is wild,” he added. “From where I was two years ago and everyhing that was going on, I am so happy right now. This is just the coolest thing.”
Koepka, who started the day with a one-shot lead, looked as though he was in the mood to run away with it as he reeled off three birdies in a row from the second hole.
But, after making back-to-back bogeys at the sixth and seventh, the 2013 Scottish Challenge winner had playing partner Viktor Hovland breathing down his neck.
The pair fought out a terrific tussle, which could have gone either way until Hovland’s second shot in a fairway bunker at the par-4 16th slammed into the bottom of the face and embedded itself.
It was exactly the same thing that had happened to Corey Conners in the same spot the previous day and led to an untimely double-bogey 6 for the Norwegian.
With Koepka making birdie there, he suddenly found himself with a four-shot lead with two holes to play. That was down to just two as world No 2 Scottie Scheffler birdied the last and Koepka then dropped a shot at the 17th.
But it was mission accomplished with a solid par-4 to finish as he signed off with a 67 for a nine-under-par total, going one better on this occasion after finishing joint-second behind Jon Rahm in The Masters in April.
"New York has been a second home for me,” he said of three his major triumphs having come in the state after his 2018 US Open came at Shinnecock Hills before adding the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage.
A gutsy Hovland birdied the last for a 68 to finish in a share of second with Scheffler after his closing 65, which matched the best round of the day. Cam Davis and Kurt Kitayama also signed for that score as they shared fourth spot with another LIV Golf player, Bryson DeChambeau.