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July 4, 2014

Billy Hurley III


JOHN BUSH:テつ We welcome Billy Hurley, III to the interview room.テつ Billy, 63 today, lowest round of the year for you.テつ Currently in the lead.テつ Can you maybe give us some opening thoughts.
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ Seven birdies, no bogeys; always nice to play with no bogeys, especially around here.テつ You know, it's kind of a course where you feel like you can go a round with no bogeys a couple times for the week, and so to do that always makes you feel good about it.
JOHN BUSH:テつ All right.テつ We'll open it up for some questions.

Q.テつ This week of having a military background and playing here on the 4th of July?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ You know, anytime you play good, it's great; right?テつ But certainly, you know, there's special days of the year for our country, and having served our country and being the only person playing this week who has served, only military veteran on TOUR, it adds something to it.
4th of July has always been a special day for me just growing up, and kind of what it means for our independence and that kind of stuff.テつ So you know, it's kind of pretty cool, I guess, to shoot 7‑under on the 4th of July.

Q.テつ Anything special you did growing up?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ No.テつ We just did the all‑American kind of 4th of July thing, barbecue, fireworks, whatever.テつ The tricky thing, I think, is with a lot of our holidays is that we kind of have to sit back and remember what they're actually for, because we just kind of oftentimes barbecue, couple beers, pool, fireworks, Sunday, why we actually have this day.
And I think that for me certain holidays, like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veteran's Day, those kind of things, I kind of more know what they're about.

Q.テつ Was the chip‑on 4 your biggest shot or biggest shot of the day or was there something else you would point to?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ I mean it's always nice to chip it in.テつ So that was definitely a good‑‑ a great shot of the day.テつ And I hit quite a few of them, but I think probably the shot that I was most pleased with was my second shot into 16.テつ I hit a nice fade 7‑iron into that front right hole on 16 and hit it to about two feet.

Q.テつ The important question, are you going Maroon 5 tonight?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ Probably.テつ I think I'll have a late tee time, so I can probably afford to be out for a little while.

Q.テつ Can you tell us about your decision to attend the Naval Academy and then also your desire to play golf?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, as a about eighth, ninth grader, I pretty much wanted to go to the Naval Academy.テつ I only applied to one school.テつ I only wanted to go to one place, and I guess fortunately I got in.
Just kind of fell in love with the Naval Academy, and the tradition, honor, courage, commitment, all the ideals and the whole place really.テつ It was definitely the right school for me.
I wasn't an AJGA all‑American kind of golfer who was certainly putting on hold a career in golf to do this.テつ I mean I obviously became a very nice player in college, but it wasn't like one of those sure things, like some of the guys out here who were pretty much going to be out here since they were 17 years old kind of thing.
So you know, I don't have any regrets about the way that I did it.テつ I'd do it all over again the same way.

Q.テつ Can you take us through from the time you finished the Naval Academy to what you did and then getting on the PGA TOUR?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ I graduated May 2004, commissioned in the Navy.テつ And then I spent a little bit of time with the golf team, kind of after I graduated, just helping out with the golf team.
I went to a ship in Mayport, Florida, USS GETTYSBURG Cruiser, CG 64.テつ I was only there for ‑‑ I was only there for about six months because then the Navy made the decision to let me try and make the Walker Cup team in the summer of '05, so they moved me off the ship so I could play more amateur golf.テつ So I was able to make the Walker Cup.
I then turned professional in March of 2006 while I was still active duty and played seven‑‑ or eight tournaments over the next‑‑ over that year, PGA TOUR events through sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifying.
At that time I was also trying to‑‑ I submitted paperwork to be released from the Navy and transfer to the Reserves, kind of like David Robinson is kind of a classic example of that policy.テつ I was not accepted to that, so after I spent basically two years at the Naval Academy while that paperwork was kind of going on, I was teaching economics.テつ I spent two semesters of Intro to Econ.
And then in June, July of 2007 I went to a destroyer, USS CHUNG‑HOON, and I served there for two years.テつ I deployed twice with that ship, both times‑‑ we were home ported in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor Hawaii.テつ Nice place to live for two years.テつ But I was only actually there for 11 months out of the kind of 24 months I was stationed there, with deployments and all that.
So I was in the Persian Gulf for a couple of months, right off the coast of China, south China Sea for a little bit.テつ Did some stuff in the Red Sea; drove the ship through the Suez Canal, probably the highlight of my days on the ship.テつ I was actually the officer of the deck driving the ship through the Suez Canal, which was awesome.
And then in July, 2009 I finished my five‑year commitment, and I got out of the Navy, played about a year and a half of mini tours, got Nationwide status, played a year on Nationwide.テつ Finished 25th my first year out there, got to the PGA TOUR my rookie year in 2012.テつ Didn't keep it.テつ Played Web.com last year and got back here for this year.

Q.テつ Safe to assume when you're driving the ship through the Suez Canal you're not working on your game not that much?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ Not working on the game that much, no.テつ You know, I tried to just kind of work out as much as I could, which wasn't even as much as you want to kind of thing.テつ It's completely a 60, 70‑hour week kind of job.
So you know, for those two years in Hawaii I was a recreational golfer.テつ I probably averaged one round a month over those two years.

Q.テつ Did you always through that whole experience still think you wanted to get back to this point?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean basically my senior year in college I kind of played really well and was ranked No. 2 in the country for a while, and you know, then kind of thought, hey, I might be able to do this.テつ Like the guys that I'm playing against and are ranked against right now are the guys that are turning pro and expected to go play the PGA TOUR kind of thing.
So it's certainly something that I always wanted to do from the time that I graduated.テつ I had the five‑year commitment, and I never wavered in the commitment, fulfilling my‑‑ what I signed up to do in the Navy, but, you know, the PGA TOUR was the goal for me pretty much, you know, the entire time I was in the Navy.
That said, golf was completely a, you know, secondary kind of thing.テつ I was a naval officer first, and if you ask the people that I served with, they'd say that's for sure.

Q.テつ Can you explain your visor?
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ So this is the SEAL Legacy Foundation.テつ I kind of found myself in between equipment contracts this year and went a different direction with some of my logo space and bag and that kind of stuff.テつ And the SEAL Legacy Foundation is a foundation that was created by SEALs.テつ It's run by SEALs, and it's for SEALs, U. S. Navy SEALs.
They do a number of different things, but they basically help active, retired and reserve or even just former SEALs in kind of the help that they need, and they do some kind of‑‑ they like to say that SEALs are asymmetrical warfare, and they do some asymmetrical stuff in the foundation side of the world.

Q.テつ In 2004, (inaudible).
BILLY HURLEY, III:テつ I can't say that I do.テつ I'm sorry.
JOHN BUSH:テつ All right.テつ Thank you, Billy.テつ And good luck this weekend.

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