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Hometown hero and professional golfer Billy Hurley honored in Leesburg

Golfer Billy Hurley III is handed the “key to the town” by Leesburg Mayor-elect Kelly Burk. Facebook/Town of Leesburg
Surrounded by friends and family in the heart of Leesburg, professional golfer and native son Billy Hurley III was handed the “key to the town” on Friday and honored for his first PGA Tour victory this past summer.

Leesburg Mayor-elect Kelly Burk presented Hurley, 34, with a large bronze key and plaque to commemorate his June victory at the 2016 Quicken Loans Tournament at Congressional Country Club. Ranked 607th in the world before the tournament, Hurley bested his nearest challenger by three strokes, bumping his world ranking up to 124.

“It’s an honor to represent the town of Leesburg and I’m grateful to all who helped get me here,” Hurley said at the event.

Hosted by Tiger Woods, the Quicken Loans Tournament is dedicated to military charities with a spotlight on military veterans. Hurley’s win – given he's the only U.S. Navy veteran on the PGA Tour -- struck a chord within the golf community and solidified his status on the tour for the next two years.

“Winning at Quicken Loans this summer, one of the premier military events of the tour, and so close to where I grew up was really story book for me this year,” Hurley said. “The outpouring of support from friends and family meant a lot.”

Hurley's long-shot victory came in the aftermath of tragedy. His father, Willard Hurley, took his own life in 2015 -- this following the father's disappearance and his son's tearful plea for his return during a press conference. The senior Hurley was known and charitable throughout the local community.

Hurley III following his Quicken Loans win at nearby Congressional Country Club in Maryland. Screenshot/CBS Sports

A class of 2000 graduate from Loudoun County High School, Billy Hurley III experienced his formative golf years playing at courses around the area, including Westpark Golf Club, Loudoun Golf and Country Club and Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club. While on his high school team, Hurley was named All-Met and All-State in Virginia.

After graduation, Hurley went on to play golf at the Naval Academy, where he was a four-time MVP and member of the U.S. Palmer Cup Team, an annual golf competition among American and European college golfers.

Reaching the rank of lieutenant, Hurley served five years active duty on ships in the port of Mayport, Florida on the USS Gettysburg. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard the destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and completed his Naval commitment in 2009.

After duty, Hurley earned his PGA Tour Card in 2011 and began playing professionally. He has played in three majors, including the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Open and the 2014 Open Championship. With the Quicken Loans victory, Hurley is now qualified to play in the 2017 Masters.

“The 2017 golf season will begin for us in Hawaii,” Hurley said. “The whole family is going for two weeks in January for the Tournament of Champions.”

All PGA Tour winners qualify to attend the elite event in Maui held Jan. 4-8, 2017. Hurley will play with other top names in golf, including Masters Champion Danny Willett, U.S. Open Champion Dustin Johnson, PGA Champion Jimmy Walker and World No. 1 player Jason Day.

Hurley currently resides in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Heather and three children.


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