GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two days after attending his father’s funeral Billy Hurley shot an opening 1-under 69 on Thursday at the Wyndham Championship.
In an emotional interview after his round, Hurley said the first few holes were difficult, but he found some rhythm as the day went on and was tied for 87th in his quest to play his way into the FedEx Cup Playoffs which begin next week.
“The first three, four, five holes I almost didn’t know what I was doing. The first tee was kind of hard,” Hurley said. “I settled in and hit a couple of good shots here and there. I felt like almost a golfer again. Just not having practiced that much I was very rusty.”
Willard Hurley Jr. committed suicide last Wednesday 12 miles from the Hurley family home in Leesburg, Va. At last month’s Quicken Loans National Billy Hurley informed the media that his father had gone missing and police discovered him on July 31 in a Texas library following his son’s round on a computer.
“I don’t know what emotions I had to begin with,” he said. “It was overwhelming on the putting green and seeing a bunch of people, and then I got into the round in the middle of it and just played golf.”
Hurley is currently 131st on the FedEx Cup points list and needs to finish inside the top 30 this week to qualify for next week’s Barclays. On Thursday he said his post-season prognosis is the only reason he’s playing this week.
“It wasn’t a hard decision [to play]. If I was 100th [on the FedEx Cup points list] I wouldn’t be here. It wasn’t a hard decision, but it was certainly hard to do,” Hurley said.