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Hurley shrugs off heat, fires opening 69

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BETHESDA, Md – Though the heat index threatened triple digits on Thursday at the AT&T National, Billy Hurley III knew how to remain comfortable.

'It was 110 in the shade in the Persian Gulf,' Hurley said. 'That was maybe as hot as you've ever been. I've definitely dealt with (heat) a lot. I think that I know how to deal with it.'

It showed in his score in the first round at Congressional, as he shot 2-under 69 to get into contention.

Hurley is a product of the Naval Academy, graduating in 2004 and jumping into a five-year commitment to serve. He jumped around, spending time in Jacksonville, Fla., teaching back in Annapolis and on a ship at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Since resigning his commission in 2009, Hurley turned pro and again has been living in Annapolis. 

This is his hometown event, making it a special week. The effort the tournament makes to honor the military only further enhances the tournament's meaning.

'I think that any time that we as an American public take time to pause and remember, reflect and honor the military, it's a great thing,' he said.

To have a chance on Sunday, Hurley will have to endure another three days of increasing heat. His Navy training should be an asset.

'I think there's certainly a mental toughness I learned from the Navy and the Naval Academy that translates well into golf,' he said, 'but the pressures and the life are very different.'