Michael Block has a chance to defy the odds again – but this time he’ll need help from his son.
On Monday, two weeks after the club pro from Southern California electrified the golf world with a hole-in-one and a 15th-place finish at the PGA Championship, he’ll be trying to qualify for the U.S. Open.
So will his 18-year-old son, Dylan.
The Blocks will be among more than 500 golfers vying for about 60 spots in the U.S. Open, set for June 15-18 in Los Angeles. The qualifying will take place at 10 sites, each hosting 36-hole competitions.
"If for some reason the stars align like they did a couple of weeks ago and my boy and I are both playing in the U.S. Open, it’d probably be the best experience of my life and would outdo Oak Hill (the site of this year’s PGA Championship)," said Michael Block, 46.
Where will Michael and Dylan Block play?
There are six known times where fathers and sons played in the same U.S. Open, according to the United States Golf Association.
Both Michael and Dylan were scheduled to play at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles. But Michael Block has opted to play at the lone final qualifier in Canada because he received a sponsor’s exemption to the RBC Canadian Open starting Thursday. The 36-hole competitions will be played at 10 sites.
Val Block, Michael’s wife and Dylan’s mother, will be in Los Angeles.
"I’m going to be a trainwreck trying to follow my husband with my phone and being there for Dylan," she said. "They both want it so badly. My heart is already starting to beat hard."
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How rare are father-son combos?
Michael Block is attempting to become the sixth golfer to play in the same U.S. Open with one of his sons:
∎ Jack Nicklaus and his son Gary Nicklaus played in 1997 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
∎ Gary Player and his son Wayne played in 1982 at Pebble Beach, California.
∎ Jay Haas and his son Bill were the only father-and-son combo to do it twice – in 2003 at Olympia Fields (Illinois) Country Club and in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, where they both made the cut.
∎ Willie Hunter and his son Mac did it in1947 at St. Louis Country Club in Clayton, Missouri and Joe Kirkwood did it in 1948 at Riviera Country Club in the Los Angeles.
∎ The only father known to have played with two sons in the same U.S. Open took place in 1903, when Tom Anderson Sr. was in the field with sons Tom and Willie at Baltusrol Golf Club Springfield, New Jersey.
How did the Blocks get here?
Michael Block, who played in the 2007 and 2018 U.S. Open, was exempt from local qualifying this year after finishing tied for second at the PGA Professional Championship May 3 in New Mexico. The top 20 finishers earned exemptions.
Dylan Block, who graduated from high school last week, had to get through local qualifying and needed dramatics.
During a May 3 local qualifier at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California – where his father is the head pro – Dylan Block eagled the par 5 18th hole to move inside the cutline.
"I was caddying for him the year before (at a local U.S. Open qualifier), and he was doing really well," Michael Block said, "and I kind of misclubbed him on something on the back nine, so he missed it last year. So, I was really proud of him that he made it through this year to make it to the second stage while still being in high school. It’s way better than I ever did in my life, so I’m really happy for him."
Dylan Block recalled his celebration with Johnny Binnquist, his best friend and caddie, after making a 35-foot putt on the 18th hole.
"We made the most supersonic clap with our hands I’ve ever heard," he said. "It was just straight, boom."
Wait, another hole-in-one?
You probably know all about Michael Block’s hole-in-one at the PGA Championship. It happened in the final round when he aced the par-3, 151-yard 15th hole with his 7-iron.
But you probably haven’t heard about Dylan Block’s hole-in-one, which he said took place Friday during a practice round at Hillcrest Country Club. He said he did it with a 9-iron on the second hole.
"One of our family friends texted me and goes, 'What the (expletive) is in the Block household water?'" said Dylan Block, who added that he was playing with a club member at the time and it was his third hole in one. "Yeah, I’m trying to catch up to my dad. He has four."
Well, he’s trying to do something else too.
"Right now I’m known as Michael Block’s son. I want my dad to be known as Dylan Block’s dad."
Who else is playing Monday?
Billed as "Golf’s Longest Day," the final stage of qualifying will be 36-hole competitions held at 13 sectional qualifiers – three of which have already taken place. More than half of the U.S. Open field is comprised of players who earn exemptions through a host of ways, such as winning the U.S. Open in the last 10 years.
The Blocks aren’t the only notable golfers who will be attempting to get into the 156-player U.S. Open field through sectional qualifiers – nine in the United States and one in Canada – beginning Monday.
Webb Simpson, who won the 2012 U.S. Open, is back in the qualifying field because his 10-year winner's exemption has expired. Lucas Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open also will be in the mix.
Playing at Hillcrest in the same field as Dylan Block will be 13-year-old Jaden Soong, a seventh grader who is 5-2, 115 pounds and can drive the ball up to 280 yards.
There’s also Jay Jurecic, 52, of Caspian, Michigan, who was a sixth- and seventh-grade math teacher for 21 years. He quit that job about two years ago to pursue his golf dreams full time.
And Ryan Wilkins, 32, of Woodstock, Georgia, a pitcher on North Carolina State’s 2013 College World Series team.
And Matt Parziale, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts, a former firefighter trying to make his third Open.
All part of a process that started with more than 10,000 entries and local qualifying hosted at 109 courses before the field was winnowed down the final day of qualifying. Featuring fathers and sons, former firefighters, former champions and …
"So it truly is a snapshot of kind of all that’s great about the game in some ways," said Julia Pine, Director Championship Communications for the USGA, “the kind of meritocracy that comes with the U.S. Open.’’
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: PGA Championship star Michael Block, son seek to qualify for US Open