WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Billy Hurley III has been waiting for a breakthrough moment on the PGA Tour. On Independence Day, the former 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. He was at 9-under 131 at Old White TPC, with 11 players within four shots of him. First-round leader Jonas Blixt shot 73 and was 3 under.
"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 Fourth of July," Hurley said.
Hurley graduated from the Naval Academy in 2004 and spent five years in the Navy. His best career finish is a tie for fourth in the AT&T National two years ago. A solid ending in this tournament would get him into the British Open on July 17; the four best finishers not previously eligible among the top 12 will earn spots at Royal Liverpool.
EUROPEAN PGA: Kevin Stadler increased his lead at the French Open to three strokes by shooting 3-under 68 in the second round. Stadler was at 10-under 132 at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.