As boys do, the three Herron brothers battled each other in baseball and basketball, swimming and skiing growing up.

"Any sport they touched, they were competitive," said their mother, Ann. "Anything at all."

None of it quite like Monday's first round of the 120th Minnesota Golf Association State Amateur, where all three played a tournament both their father and great grandfather once won.

Father Tim won in 1992 at Golden Valley Country Club on his way to a long PGA Tour career. Great granddad Carson Lee Herron won it at home at Edina's Interlachen C.C. in 1933.

All these years later, older brother Carson and 17-year-old twins Patrick and Mick qualified to play Monday at Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park.

Carson, 20, is a rising junior at New Mexico — following in his father's footsteps — who qualified for this year's State Am by finishing in the top 10 in last year's tournament at Olympic Hills.

P.J. and Mick each went it alone, qualifying at separate sites. Seniors this fall at Holy Family Catholic High School, Mick did so at Gross golf course in Minneapolis while Patrick advanced in a playoff at Pioneer Creek.

Both Carson and Mick played in last year's State Am, but Patrick called all three in the same event "a first-time thing."

Carson shot a 1-under-par 71 Monday, putting him tied for 18th place in the 54-hole event. He played in a group with a brother ahead and behind him in an afternoon group that yielded Chaska Town Course's Lincoln Johnson's co-leading 66.

Last week's Minnesota State Open champ by nine shots at Oak Ridge, Valparaiso senior Caleb VanArragon, playing out of Bunker Hills, shot a 66 in the morning.

One of Minnesota's first families of golf, the Herrons turned out to follow on foot or cart three sons who each played in pairings back-to-back-to-back: grandpa Carson and grandma Cean; parents Tim and Ann; 1999 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champ Alissa Herron Super; nephew Tully Super; in-laws, family friends and others.

"It has been amazing, just growing up in golf having two other brothers who inspire me to play more, play harder, be more competitive," Mick Herron said after he shot a 4-over 76.

He is tied for 73rd in the 156-player field. Patrick, also known as P.J., shot a 78 that tied him for 97th.

Mick, Patrick and Carson communicated a fairway apart with hand signals that updated their scores and mood.

"It was fun," Mick said. "We kind of have our own language."

Mick and Patrick have a union only twins can have, even if Patrick plays righthanded and Mick lefthanded.

"One kid was born on the wrong side of the club, I guess," Patrick said.

Carson grew six inches in 18 months and has blossomed into a long hitter, one who came within two shots of qualifying for last month's U.S. Open during an Ohio event thick with PGA Tour pros.

On the practice green there, another player's caddie lifted Carson's bag and briefly carried it before realizing his error.

Upon further review, that caddie was in fact PGA Tour player Viktor Hovland, a playoff winner at Muirfield Village in Ohio the day before. Hovland was looping for a former college teammate.

"He flies it 30 yards by me now," Tim Herron said of his eldest son. "You never know as a father, you want to have confidence in his your kids. He just needs to stay more patient to get to the next level. He's not 6-1 anymore. He's 6-4, 6-5. He won't tell us how tall he is anymore."

Carson is listed at 6-1 on New Mexico's website apparently not updated since his freshman year.

Carson recently caddied for his dad at the U.S. Senior Open at Sentryworld in Stevens Point, Wis. Tim didn't reciprocate this time.

"I caddied for all three," Tim said. "Then I retired."

Tim made two triple bogeys and three double bogeys over four rounds at the Senior Open and still finished tied or 23rd at 7 over. Afterward, he asked Carson if he really wants to do that for a living.

"I don't know if I want to do it after that," Carson said. "It's a hard game. He still played pretty well with all that going on. It's not an easy game. You have to stay patient and can't get too down on yourself, because you never know."