Billy Hurley III becomes the newest name on a list of improbable 2016 PGA Tour winners. The 34-year-old won this past weekend's Quicken Loans National with a score of 267 (-17).
Before Hurley, Brian Stuard earned his first career victory in his 120th start at a playoff in the Zurich Classic. Vaughn Taylor, who had not won since 2005, overcame a six-stroke deficit to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Jim Herman picked up the first tour victory of his 16-year career with a win at the Shell Houston Open.
Hurley, a Navy graduate, started last week ranked No. 607 in the World Golf Rankings and had never won on Tour. With two World Golf Hall of Famers–Vijay Singh and Ernie Els–and a former No. 1 amateur -- Jon Rahm -- chasing him down the stretch, Hurley marched on. He shot a fourth-round 69 (-2) and held off Singh by three strokes.
Hurley, a Leesburg, Virginia, native, graduated from Annapolis in 2004, earning a Bachelor's Degree in quantitative economics. He began his five-year Navy commitment thereafter, serving in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the China Sea and Pearl Harbor.
Hurley started playing full-time professionally in 2009 with little success. He got his first PGA Tour card in 2011 and has bounced in and out of the Tour since then. Hurley played in this year's Quicken Loans National at Bethesda, Maryland's Congressional Country Club on a sponsor's exemption, thanks to his local connection to the DMV area. According to Golfweek, failing to crack the top 40 in any of his past 11 events prompted Hurley and his wife to discuss retiring from golf.
It seems unlikely that Hurley will walk away now. With his victory, Hurley earns a two-year Tour exemption, spots in the Bridgestone Invitational, British Open, PGA Championship, Tournament of Champions and the Masters. Hurley's $1.2 million in Quicken Loans National winnings constitute 53 percent of his career earnings. He was handed his trophy by tournament host Tiger Woods, as the tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Hurley could soon become a household name. However, it appears he isn't quite there yet…
Standing in @Starbucks line listening to a conversation about me and my win
— Billy Hurley III (@BillyHurley3) June 27, 2016
Oh, well. At least you're a millionaire, Billy.
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