Hurley returns to Pearl Harbor a PGA Tour champion
HONOLULU — He’s been back to Oahu before, strolled the beaches of Waikiki and the piers of Pearl Harbor to recall a life that almost doesn’t seem real any longer.
He first played the Sony Open in 2012, his rookie year on the PGA Tour, and he’s been back to Wallace Country Club the last two seasons, but this week is different.
On Tuesday afternoon, when he made what has now become an annual visit to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hick am, there was added significance. Billy Hurley hasn’t changed, well, he’s happy and after an emotionally draining few years, that shouldn’t be overlooked.
But there will be more attention paid to the former U.S. Navy lieutenant this visit. This is, after all, where he served two years on the USS Chung-Hun, a 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer, which is currently docked at Pearl Harbor, about a 20-minute drive from the emerald green fairways of Wallace Country Club and this week’s Tour stop.
Unlike his previous visits, Hurley returns with a new title — PGA Tour champion — following his breakthrough victory at last year’s Quicken Loans National. In his signature-subdued style, the 34-year-old shrugs when asked if this return is different.
“Hopefully, I’ll be sharper,” he smiled, a nod to his slow start last week at the SBS Tournament of Champions where he finished 29th out of 32 players.
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