July 3 2012
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- The Naval Academy taught Billy Hurley III all he knows about mental toughness.
This season, he’s needed it.
Hurley missed 12 of his first 16 cuts this season, his first on the PGA TOUR after earning his card via the Web.com Tour.
In the Navy, Hurley said one of the biggest challenges was working his way through sleep deprivation. Out here, the challenges are different but the fortitude the same.
“The mental toughness does sort of translate and correlate just from having been in very stressful situations, having been yelled at and forced to do things or forced to memorize things you thought you’d never figure out,” Hurley said.
At last week’s AT&T National, Hurley seemed to figure something out with his game. He tied for fourth in what was easily his best finish of the season.
Now he’s hoping he can carry that momentum to The Greenbrier Classic. Not that it will be an easy task.
“I hit a lot of good shots last week, made a lot of good putts, so you have that in your mind, and that makes it easier to see it and do it again,” Hurley said. “At the same time, sometimes there’s maybe a little more pressure you feel on yourself like I just did it, I should do it again.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Hurley has had success here. Prior to his career in the Navy, he won two straight Virginia State Golf Association championships, one of them in nearby Roanoke, Va.