Billy Hurley III arrived at Congressional Country Club for the AT&T National very much a struggling rookie on the PGA Tour. He had every right to worry about his job security, his income and his golf game.
But after closing out the event Sunday with a final-round 72 that left him 4 under par for the tournament , Hurley had a slew of items he didn’t when he arrived: a tie for fourth place that represented his first top-10 finish on tour, and a check for $255,937.50.
Add this to an already excellent week: Hurley — a Leesburg native, Annapolis resident and former Navy lieutenant — posted his top-10 at an event that annually honors the military. So the cries of “Beat Army!” after his shots felt especially good.
“This tournament is just fantastic in the way they honor our military,” Hurley said. “They really made an intentional choice to do that, so it’s a special one to me. Certainly being here, about an hour from where I grew up and an hour from where I live now, it’s a special place to play.”
Hurley, 32, had made the cut in just five of his first 17 tournaments of the year, and the most he had earned was $36,683. He finished in a four-way tie with American Robert Garrigus, Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, and 21-year-old South Korean Seung-Yul Noh, who also posted the best finish of his career.
Adam Scott’s final-round 67 could have and perhaps should have been a sign of encouragement, because it moved him into third place for the event. But the Australian still can’t shake the memory of his late wakeup before Thursday’s first round, which left him scrambling to get to the course on time. He arrived at 7:55 a.m. for an 8:02 a.m. tee time, and then made double bogey on his second hole and bogey on his third.
“You can if and but and you can argue, but my 3-over through three was due to my very brief warmup on Thursday, and that might end up being the difference between winning and not this week,” Scott said. “I have only myself to blame.”
Sunday, Scott made five birdies in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 3-8, and was briefly tied for the lead with a cluster of others. But back-to-back bogeys at 14 and 15 cost him a chance to contend. . . .
Chez Reavie made a hole-in-one at the par-3 13th, using a 6-iron from 194 yards. The roar from the gallery was audible across the course, and got the attention of eventual champion Tiger Woods.
“We were wondering who made that hole-in-one, if anybody was at 6 [under] and then made the hole-in-one to jump to 8,” Woods said. Alas, Reavie’s ace got him to just 3-under, far from contention. It was the third hole-in-one at the AT&T Nationals staged at Congressional. The others were by Kevin Stadler (No. 13 in 2007) and Corey Pavin (No. 10 in 2008). . . .
Patrick Cantlay, the 20-year-old who turned pro two weeks ago, made his first professional cut and earned his first check, $13,455 for tying for 66th. But in shooting 82 Sunday, Cantlay made three double bogeys, then made a mess of 18. He flubbed a shot from the rough, hit a bunker shot into the water, and closed with a quadruple bogey 8. . . .
After seven players survived rounds without a bogey in the first three days of the tournament, no one went bogey-free on Sunday.