Leesburg native Billy Hurley III received the key to the town today, in honor of his first PGA tournament win earlier this year.
Leesburg Vice Mayor Kelly Burk presented Hurley with the oversized bronze key and a plaque during a ceremony held on the Town Green this afternoon. Hurley, a 2000 Loudoun County High School graduate, won the 2016 Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in June. He ended his final round with a score of 17-under for the tournament and 3-under for the day.
With the win, Hurley took home $1.2 million in prize money and boosted his world ranking to 169, up from 607. Strong showings in several other tournaments since has earned him a world ranking of 124.
In front of Hurley’s family, friends and classmates from Loudoun County High School, Burk read a proclamation commending Hurley for “his accomplishments as a professional golfer and his representation of Leesburg and Loudoun County on the world sports stage.” The proclamation also made mention of his service in the U.S. Navy and support of several charities, including Birdies for the Brave, World Gospel Outreach, Ark Children’s House and Adoption Advocates International.
Hurley told those gathered for the ceremony that Leesburg means a lot to him and his family. He joked with Burk, “Now I’m wondering, where does this key fit?”
He later said in an interview with Loudon Now that the past several months have been a whirlwind. “You win a tour event and that’s awesome, but we’re learning that there’s a whole bunch of other extra, fun things that come with it and this is one of them,” he said.
Hurley’s first PGA tournament win came 10 months after the death of his father, Willard Hurley Jr. Coping with his father’s death and on-the-course frustrations had Billy Hurley III considering retiring from golf at the age of 34.
“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,” he told reporters after winning the Quicken Loans National. “Two weeks from now it will probably be hard again, but for one special week it was easy.”