It was a surprise.
“I actually thought I was going to play poorly as a result of that,” he said with a smile after an opening 67 left him tied for third place. “Frankly it was quite an emotional couple days for me, writing that letter and the response from it was overwhelming.”
Hurley said dozen of fellow Tour players and caddies have offered him support in response to the 4,384-word letter, which he started to write in October to remember his father who died in 2015 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But that’s not the part of his father’s story Hurley wanted to address with his letter.
“It was an important step in the overall healing,” he said. “You know, 18 months ago it was about my dad taking his own life by suicide and not about the 62 years that he had lived. So I wanted to highlight how good of a dad he really was.”
Hurley said that he thinks of his father during every round, remembering the lessons he taught him.
“It makes it hard to play when I think about my dad,” Hurley said. “So much of our life was about golf and so much about him watching me play, so it can make it hard emotionally to play when I do think about him.”