It’s wins like this one that make sports so very special.
See Billy Hurley III, see him very well. Eleven months ago, he found out his father had gone missing, without warning, reason, or logic. Hurley used his power as a golfer to hold a press conference and reach out to his father. His dad was sighted thousands of miles from the family home in Maryland, but never returned, ending his own life two weeks later.
On Sunday, Hurley, a former US Navy officer turned pro golfer, was in Bethesda, Maryland for the Quicken Loans National. Playing barely 45 minutes’ drive from the Naval Academy, he won his first PGA Tournament.
“It’s been a hard year,” Hurley said. “It’s been a really hard year, so it’s nice to have something go well.”
Quicken Loans National is sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation, and Woods, himself still recovering from multiple surgeries, was on hand in his traditional Nike Sunday red. But instead of intimidating the field, Woods acted as somewhat of a dampener for Hurley, who surely felt the pressure mount as his storyline played out Sunday.
Although his Sunday 69 was his highest score of the tournament, it was more than enough for Hurley to claim a three-stroke win over 53-year-old Vijay Singh, who played well enough to earn a place in the Open Championship next month. Hurley finished 17-under with his 66-65-67-69 – 267, earning him $1.242 million and 500 FedEx Cup points.
His biggest stroke of the day was an impossibly long putt to save par on No. 11 when he was just 1-under for the day, while Singh was 4-under through nine. He went on to birdie 15 and 16 to seal the win, with Singh birdying 16 and 18, but bogeying 17 to put himself out of reach.
Bill Haas finished tied for third with Jon Rahm at 13-under. Haas was the only player in the field besides Hurley to shoot under 70 in all four rounds, going 66-69-68-68 – 271.
Rahm, just 21, was the low amateur at the 2016 US Open. A native of Barrika, Spain, he is the two-time recipient of the Ben Hogan Award. His finish Sunday qualified him for the Open Championship.