Former U.S. Navy officer Billy Hurley III is vying for his first PGA Tour title on Sunday, playing in the final group at The Greenbrier Classic.
A 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Hurley completed his five-year commitment to the U.S. military before resuming his golf career after an outstanding run as an amateur. Were Hurley to win on Sunday, he would become the first U.S. military veteran to win on the PGA Tour in nearly 20 years.
The last veteran to win a PGA Tour event was Ed Dougherty, who won the 1995 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic (now the Sanderson Farms Championship), beauting Dr. Gil Morgan in a playoff after tying at a 72-hole total of 16- under 272. Dougherty was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War.
Before that, Larry Nelson was the last ex-military to win on the PGA Tour, taking the 1988 Georgia-Pacific Atlanta Golf Classic. Like Dougherty, Nelson was drafted into the U.S. Army.
Ex-Marine Lee Trevino was the last veteran to win a major championship, taking the 1984 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club in Alabama.