BETHESDA — Billy Hurley III captured his first PGA Tour victory in memorable fashion, refusing to fold despite being chased by a talented group that included Vijay Singh and Ernie Els.
Hurley’s emphatic three-stroke win over Singh at the Quicken Loans National was popular with the gallery at Congressional Country Club, and with his peers. A native of Leesburg, Virginia, Hurley graduated from the Naval Academy, served five years in the Navy, and has made his home in Annapolis, Maryland. He was a fan favorite at Congressional Country Club, and he played with the poise of a champion, sealing the victory with superb clutch shots down the stretch.
The key moment was Hurley’s chip-in for birdie from 35 yards at the par 4, No. 15. That saved what could have easily been a bogey, and shifted momentum in his favor for good. Hurley’s improbable chip-in gave him a two-stroke lead, and some breathing room over Singh with three holes to play. After his ball pitched onto the 15th green and disappeared into the hole, Hurley raised both arms in celebration, then pumped his fist as the crowd roared.
Then on No. 16, Hurley calmly sank a 27-foot putt for birdie to take a three-stroke lead. Clearly, this was Hurley’s day.
Hurley finished at 17 under par for the tournament (267, 66-65-67-69) three strokes ahead of Singh (270, 68-66-71-65). Bill Haas, and Jon Rahm tied for third place at 13 under par, while Els finished fifth at 12 under par.
The win was even more emotional for Hurley because his late father, Willard Hurley Jr., disappeared during the week of this tournament last year. Although Hurley’s father was found during the week of the tournament, he died several weeks later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The victory qualified Hurley for next month’s British Open, and elevated him to 70th place in the FedEx Cup point standings.