Leesburg native Billy Hurley III landed his first PGA tournament win Sunday, shooting 17 under par during four rounds at the Congressional Golf Club in Bethesda, MD.
He beat tour veteran Vijay Singh by three strokes.
With the win, Hurley took home $1.2 million in prize money and secured an invitation to play in next month’s The Open championship at Royal Troon in Scotland. The win also boosted his world ranking to 169, up from 607 last week.
Congressional is a hometown course for the Loudoun County High School graduate, who went on to the U.S. Naval Academy. Hurley still lives in Annapolis, MD. The Quicken Loans National is hosted by Tiger Woods and pays tribute to those who serve in the military.
Hurley said the past year has been a struggle, marked by the death of his father and on-the-course frustration that almost prompted his retirement at age 34.
“It truly is kinda unbelievable, coming from the Naval Academy and coming from five years of active duty in the Navy and then out here on the PGA tour and then losing my card last year and playing on a sponsor’s exemption this week and then put four great days of golf today and win a golf tournament,” Hurley told reporters after his win.
Hurley’s best finish on the tour this year was tied for 41st at the AT&T Byron Nelson last month. He missed the cut in eight of the 14 tournaments he entered in 2016, including last week’s U.S. Open.
“It wasn’t eight weeks ago that I was seriously thinking about retiring. Nothing was going well and it was hard. Heck, that’s golf. Two weeks from now it will probably be hard again, but for one special week it was easy,” Hurly said. “Every week is a fresh start and you think maybe this is the week, maybe this is the week. And more often than not it is not the week. It’s just crazy that this was the week.”
The win comes 10 months after the death Hurley’s father, Willard Hurley Jr. The retired Prince William County Police officer left home unexpectedly and was seen in Texas after his son held a press conference during the 2015 Quicken Loans National to call attention to his father’s disappearance. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot.