A year after losing his father, 34-year-old Billy Hurley III earned his first PGA Tour victory at Congressional Country Club, not far from his hometown of Leesburg, Virginia, with a 69 on Sunday to finish at 17 under, three ahead of Vijay Singh.
Hurley, a local product, attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served for five years in the Navy before beginning his professional golf career. But this win meant so much more than just being his first. A year ago, at this very tournament, Hurley announced his father, who suffered from depression, had gone missing. His father was found only to die months later in August 2015 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Any win on the PGA Tour for Hurley would have been a triumph of his strength but to get that win so close to home is even more special. Hurley's win is huge for his career moving forward as it earns him exemption on the PGA Tour for two years as well as spots in the 2016 Open Championship, 2016 PGA Championship and 2017 Masters as well as a few other big events on the PGA Tour.
Vijay Singh finished solo second and Ernie Els finished solo fifth as they turned back the clock with fantastic showings at Congressional. It was a good week to be a veteran, and they showed they still have the game to compete with the young guys.
Jon Rahm finished T3 in his first career PGA Tour event and earned a spot in the British Open. That's a nice way to start your career -- and a big paycheck. He'll learn from the weekend and has a very bright future.
Harold Varner III also earned a trip to the British Open in a few weeks with a seventh place finish thanks to a big par on the 18th hole. It's his first Open ever and only his second major championship.
Rickie Fowler looked like he was maybe turning the corner early in the week with back-to-back 68s on Thursday and Friday, but he wasn't able to carry that quality of play to the weekend with a 73-74 finish to end up T45 at 1 under. He's still fighting his game a bit and needs to figure out how to put together four straight quality rounds if he's going to factor into the conversation at the British Open.
It seems as though Bryson DeChambeau can take his game to another level for big tournaments, but he hasn't figured out how to grind on the regular events on the PGA Tour. In need of some good finishes to earn a temporary card, DeChambeau could only finish T64 at 2 over this week and is getting close to having to Monday qualify for events.