Former Navy officer chases pro golf dream

Bill Hurley didn’t come to the doorstep of pro golfing the traditional way.
The 28-year-old from Leesburg was a top-ranked amateur player, but instead of going pro, he had to fulfill his obligation to the Navy. Now, Hurley is taking another shot at golf.

“It is a very different route to get here,” he said.

Hurley attended the Naval Academy, where he was named the nation's top college player in 2004. After graduating, he served five years as a naval officer.

At the Nationwide Tour that started Thursday, he’s back to chasing his dream of becoming a pro golfer. The tour is a sort-of minor league for golf. Amateur golfers spend a year playing around the country, hoping to make the jump to the professional PGA tour.

Hurley said he always envisioned jumping into professional golf after his five-year service. If not for the sport, he said he would still be serving in the Navy. His final deployment took him to the Persian Gulf, and he said he enjoyed his years of service.

Now, Hurley has a different travel crew. His wife Heather, their 4-year-old son Will, and their adopted son Jacob join him on the road when they can. This weekend, Hurley is competing in the Prince George’s County Open at the University of Maryland golf course.