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June 26, 2014

Billy Hurley III


Q. Nicely done out there, 2-under par 69, how did the golf course play this morning?
BILL HURLEY III: It played nicely. The wind picked up a little bit on the back nine and made it tricky but it was soft from the rain last night so you could definitely get the ball a little closer than maybe what you are accustomed to at Congressional.

Q. Two years ago you finished tied for fourth. You like this golf course?
BILL HURLEY III: I do. I like hard golf courses. I tend to really play well on difficult courses, and here, certainly premium to be in the fairway and I did that pretty well today.

Q. And you're back on TOUR again after a year on the Web.com Tour. What have you learned now that you're back here and how has it been going for you?
BILL HURLEY III: This year has been going really well. Nothing's too spectacular but a couple of Top 10s and a couple nice, 30th-place finishes throughout the year. It's just easier the second time around. The second time around seeing golf courses, cities, airports, hotels, kind of just getting a better feel for the lay of the land, not showing up every week trying to figure out where the locker room is. I kind of already know where it is and you have a picture of where you're going in your head and that just makes it easier and a little bit less stressful, less time consuming, less energy spent on stuff that's not related to golf.

Q. You went to the Naval Academy and served in the military. How does it make you feel to come to this event that really supports and honors those in the military?
BILL HURLEY III: Well, this is the premiere event on TOUR as far as honoring military for sure. Growing up about 40 minutes here, living about 50 minutes east of here, it's kind of like a home game for me, lots of support from friends and family. Couple that with the military and everything, it's really fun tournament for me and one I hope to be a part of for many years to come. A couple people came out today, my friends and family, but from what I can tell, based on the number of tickets I gave away, there should be some people out there tomorrow. I must have asked for 70 tickets this week.

Q. I think I read that you're the first service academy graduate to make the PGA TOUR. What's that like?
BILL HURLEY III: You know, it's just kind of where I came from. I'm also the only military veteran playing on the PGA TOUR. So especially this week it kind of means more to me I guess. It's certainly the premiere event on TOUR as far as honoring the military. It's very near and dear to my heart. 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. It was a really fun five years for me. I learned a lot and it's certainly part of why I've had some success on TOUR is because of my military background.

Q. How do you kind of find maybe a common ground between your time in the Navy and your time with golf? Did they intertwine or teach you anything?
BILL HURLEY III: Learned a lot about mental toughness and time management, which is big out here on TOUR, especially time management. You have to use your time wisely or else it can get away from you. You can get pretty tired just from practicing too much. And then just the mental toughness thing, kind of grinding it out. I've always been a good grinder on the golf course.

Q. Not the score you were looking to get but you battled back.
BILL HURLEY III: Yeah, the way we all started was pretty poorly. I'm just glad I got back to where I am today at the end of the day, and I'll just slowly try to build on it from there.

Q. Did you notice a difference from the way the course was playing from the start of the round to the end?
BILL HURLEY III: You know, we started on the 10th hole, and on that back nine, if you hit -- the rough is very healthy out there. If you're just a bit off-line, it's pretty penalizing out there. I just tried to straighten it out a little bit on the front nine. I played so much better, kind of got in a groove a little bit and came out strong.

Q. How are you feeling? Thumb holding up?
BILL HURLEY III: Yeah, the thumb's fine. Thumb feels good. There's no issue with that. I'm going to go do some practice this afternoon and kind of straighten things out a little bit. Over the last couple weeks, it's just kind of been a little loose off the tee and into the greens, as well. Just kind of fighting myself. I think if I can kind of straighten that out a little bit, it will be good.

Q. Given that it's the first round and knowing that you've scored well here, how does that set up for the weekend?
BILL HURLEY III: Well, I think the way they have got it set up is pretty tough. We'll see how it goes at the end of the day. I know that it's obviously not going to lead or anything like that, and I know there are guys that have played great already. I've just got to slowly kind of plod my way. If they keep the course setup like this the way they have over the last few days, I've just got to keep at it and be patient with myself.

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