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Golf: Navy veteran Billy Hurley III takes Greenbrier lead
Golf » Bogey-free round leaves Hurley atop the leaderboard.
First Published Jul 04 2014 11:22 pm • Last Updated Jul 04 2014 11:22 pm

White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. • Billy Hurley III has been waiting for a breakthrough moment on the PGA Tour. On Independence Day, the former U.S. Navy officer might have set himself up for one this weekend in the Greenbrier Classic.

Hurley shot a season-best 7-under 63 on Friday to take the second-round lead.

At a glance

Friday’s scores

Greenbrier Classic

At The Old White TPC

White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Purse » $6.5 million

Yardage » 7,287; Par » 70 (34-36)

Second round

Billy Hurley III 68-63—131 -9

Kevin Chappell 67-65—132 -8

Chris Stroud 66-66—132 -8

Troy Matteson 72-61—133 -7

Steve Stricker 66-68—134 -6

Chris Kirk 65-69—134 -6

Brice Garnett 68-66—134 -6

Camilo Villegas 68-67—135 -5

Jim Renner 65-70—135 -5

Pat Perez 66-69—135 -5

Bubba Watson 68-67—135 -5

David Lingmerth 67-68—135 -5

Luke Guthrie 67-69—136 -4

Johnson Wagner 68-68—136 -4

Angel Cabrera 68-68—136 -4

J.B. Holmes 68-68—136 -4

Keegan Bradley 67-69—136 -4

David Hearn 68-68—136 -4

Danny Lee 65-71—136 -4

Bronson La’Cassie 70-66—136 -4

Joe Durant 65-71—136 -4

Patrick Reed 67-69—136 -4

Kevin Na 66-70—136 -4

Charlie Beljan 67-69—136 -4

Also (failed to make cut)

Mike Weir 72-73—145 +5

Daniel Summerhays 75-74—149 +9

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Hurley’s bogey-free round included a chip-in from 29 feet on No. 4 in cool conditions before the wind picked up considerably late in his morning round.

"You know, anytime you play good, it’s great, right?" Hurley said. "There’s special days of the year for our country, and having served ... adds something to it. It’s kind of pretty cool, I guess, to shoot 7 under on the 4th of July."

It’s a nice storyline. Then again, having military experience wasn’t on his mind in jumping to the top of the leaderboard.

"I was just trying to keep getting the ball in the hole," he said.

Hurley was at 9-under 131 at Old White TPC. Eleven players were within four shots of him.

Kevin Chappell (65) and Chris Stroud (66) were a stroke back. Troy Matteson

Troy Matteson had a 61 to vault into fourth place at 7 under. He has made the cut in all five years of the Greenbrier Classic. Brice Garnett (66), Steve Stricker (68) and Chris Kirk (69) were another stroke back at 6 under.

Hurley graduated from Annapolis in 2004 and spent five years in the Navy.

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He playing golf sparingly while stationed in Hawaii and worked out as much as he could.

Being mentally tough on the course comes easy for Hurley, whose missions included steering a Navy destroyer through the Suez Canal.

Playing partner Chris Stroud said it was "special" for a former military man to be leading the tournament and was amazed at how Hurley could recapture his golf game.

"There’s a lot to be said about that," Stroud said.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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