USPGA AT&T National @ Congressional Country Club, Bo Van Pelt Leads. June 29 2012
Billy Hurley 111 / Stan Badz/PGA Tour
Billy Hurley 111 has a degree from the United States Naval Academy and has served as a Lieutenant on the U.S.S. CHUNG-HOON. Billy shot a 2-under 69 in the opening round and is just two strokes off the lead of Bo Van Pelt at Congressional Country Club, he is also a one-time U.S. Walker Cup team member who now calls nearby Annapolis home. As Billy said;
"Nobody has ever went to a service academy and played out here. But as far as fitting in out here, the background gives me a little bit of a story. I think there's certainly a mental toughness that I learned from the Navy that translates well into golf, but the pressures and the life are very different. For whatever reason, I play really good when it's hot. This is certainly a special tournament, and I think that any time that we as an American public take time to pause and remember, reflect and honor the military, it's a great thing."
Bo Van Pelt was happy with his position;"I mean, made a good up and down on 18, hit a good shot there that had gone long into the back bunker and had a pretty tough shot and hit it to about a foot and just kind of kept my momentum going after birdieing 17. Hit a good drive on No.1, it's just a hole I've always kind of hit driver off of to just be aggressive. It's a tough fairway to hit, and had a good number. Been working on my wedges a bunch. Been feeling like I need to improve in that area. I was working specifically today before I played, a shot I was hitting a bunch. So it was like 98 yards, and when I got 93 I thought I had a pretty good number." VJ said he had played well; " I played well. I hit a lot of good shots, made a lot of birdies, and finally I made a couple of putts, which I guess is the key to playing good golf is you've got to make putts, and I did that. I actually thought it had kind of spun back in front of the hole, and all of a sudden this guy behind the green started going nuts. Yeah, you never know when those are going to happen, so it's nice to get a deuce. I thought I was going to go out and really shoot a low one, and then I bogeyed three in a row after that. You've got to be patient. You've got to keep calm out there. I gathered myself and made some more birdies coming in. All in all, I played really nicely, and I'm playing good golf." Tiger Woods was never under par in the afternoon and opened with a 1-over 72, he said; "It's certainly, I think, a little retribution for what happened last year. Don't be mad at me. I didn't play. "