By BEN NUCKOLS
WASHINGTON (AP) — The father of PGA Tour player Billy Hurley III has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, nearly a month after he left home, Hurley announced on Thursday.
Willard Hurley Jr., 61, killed himself Wednesday in Virginia, according to a statement released by his son's management company. A statement from Reston Bible Church in Reston, Virginia, where the elder Hurley served as missions director, also confirmed his death.
Billy Hurley broke down in tears while announcing two weeks ago during the Quicken Loans National tournament that his father was missing. He was later found at a public library in Texas, watching his son play golf on a computer. He told police only that he had been traveling.
Billy Hurley, 33, is with his family in Leesburg, Virginia, where he grew up.
"I want to thank the PGA Tour, the greater golf media, and all those who provided their support, prayers and encouragement," Hurley said in the statement. "As soon as I am able, I will return to golf and will provide further comment."
According to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, the body of a man was discovered Wednesday morning near Lovettsville, about 12 miles north of the Hurley family home. The sheriff's office did not identify Hurley but said the death was under investigation as an apparent suicide.
A Naval Academy graduate, Billy Hurley served as a Naval officer for five years before earning his PGA Tour card. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland. He didn't qualify for this week's PGA Championship.
Hurley played the first two rounds of the Quicken Loans National and made the cut before he learned that his father had been found unharmed. He went on to play in last week's Barracuda Championship.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Billy and his loved ones during this very difficult time," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.
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