In his pro golf
debut at the Bay Hill Invitational, Billy Hurley shot a one-under 287 to finish
43rd and earn $18,150. Nice, but Hurley is no ordinary Tour rookie. Ensign
Hurley, a 23-year-old newlywed, is a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy
who has served seven months aboard the missile cruiser USS Gettysburg and
remains on active duty. An All-America at Navy and a member of the U.S.'s
winning Walker Cup team last year, Hurley will complete two years of active
duty in May and hopes to get permission to spend the next three years in the
reserves while pursuing a career on Tour as well as serving as an emissary for
the Navy, the way David Robinson did during his NBA career. Hurley, who wears a
Navy logo on his golf shirt, has not yet received official approval for such an
arrangement. "They're only interested if you produce," says Hurley.
Maybe a few admirals were watching last week. "This can't hurt," Hurley
Four days after
the Tour introduced a new event in Fresno for its 2007 fall schedule, it
learned that it would lose the title sponsor of another '07 fall tournament. On
Monday, Booz Allen Hamilton announced it would not renew its support of the
Tour's event in the Washington, D.C., area. "As we look at the move to
fall," said Booz Allen chairman Ralph Shrader, "we feel we would be
constrained from having the world-class event we sought."
double bogey on Bay Hill's 71st hole was especially shocking when you consider
that he was 58 for 58 on putts of six feet or less. Rod Pampling had an even
better week, going 64 for 66 on putts of 10 feet or less. Owen's miscues cost
him $396,000 in prize money and a berth in the Masters. Second place vaulted
him from 95th to 53rd in the World Ranking, but a win would have moved him
inside the top 50, giving him an automatic invitation to Augusta.
Inkster overcame a six-shot deficit during the final round to win the Safeway
International with a 15-under 273, it was her first victory in 49 starts ('03
Evian Masters) and the 18th time in her 31 career W's that she has come from
? Alan Shipnuck's
Power Rankings appears every Tuesday at SI.com/Golf.