BETHESDA, Md. – Billy Hurley grew up in Leesburg, Va., about an hour west of Congressional, went to college at the U.S. Naval Academy and still lives in Annapolis, Md.
But all that isn’t why this week’s Quicken Loans National may be the second-year PGA Tour player’s fifth major.
Hurley is the only military veteran with a Tour card, and Tiger Woods, whose foundation runs the Quicken Loans event, has made this week all about the military.
Officials have given away 30,000 tickets to this week’s event to active duty military, and members of the armed forces are serving various roles with the event, including as honorary starters on the first and 10th tees.
“This is a premiere event on Tour as far as honoring military for sure,” said Hurley, who opened with a 69 and is tied for eighth. “I served for five years in the Navy and worked with some of the best men and women in our country. I loved being in the Navy, and I would probably still be in the Navy if I didn’t want to play golf.”
For Hurley, playing the Quicken Loans National is the next best thing.