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Local Naval Academy Grad Among AT&T National Leaders

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Bo Van Pelt holds the lead after the first round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. But the lone local player, Billy Hurley III, is just two shots behind him.

Hurley, a Navy grad in a tournament celebrating the military, is among those at the top of the leaderboard. The Leesburg, Va. native had no bogeys going into the final hole of his first round, but that streak stopped there when his par putt at the 636 yard 9th hole hit a spike mark and went wide. He tapped in for bogey.

But it wasn't his putt that had him thinking after the round, it was his tee shot at the hole which found an adjoining fairway.

"I hit it left and hit a tree and went further left," said Hurley. "I was playing number 4 off number 9."

Hurley isn't your average PGA tour player. He's a rookie at the age of 30, thanks to serving in the Navy following his 2004 graduation from Annapolis with a degree in quantitative economics.

"I was four years in the Naval Academy and graduated in 2004. Then spent time in Jacksonville, Florida on active duty there," Hurley says. "I was then active duty teaching at the Naval Academy and then active duty at Pearl Harbor Hawaii serving on a ship out there."

But Hurley always wanted to be a golfer, and after his commitment to the Navy ended, he forwent opportunities on Wall Street and worked his way onto the PGA tour. Hurley's 2-under-par first round was good enough to put him in third place heading into today's second round. Tournament host Tiger Woods struggled on day one, shooting 1-over-par.


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