John Hurley is well-known in the O’Neill area for his talents on the golf course, including great driving power.
The O’Neill St. Mary’s graduate burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2003, finishing seventh in the Class B State Golf Championships. He would then go on to win two individual state championships and a state runner-up, a one stroke loss to Cory Shield of Holdrege in Hurley’s senior season. He was also named the Amatuer Golfer of the Year in both 2005 and 2007 by the Nebraska Golf Association.
After accepting a scholarship to Texas A&M to continue his golf career, he would go on to record 11 career top 20 finishes, including two tournament wins. The defining moment of his college career, however, came in his sophomore season.
“We won the national championship in 2009,” Hurley said. “It was probably so much more exciting because it was a very dramatic finish.”
Becoming a family man
Ever since he graduated from Texas A&M in 2011, Hurley has been busy chasing his dream of golfing on the PGA Tour. Five years later, he has some big news. He’s taking a break from golf, and for a good reason.
“My wife and I are expecting our first child in September,” he said. “We are expecting a baby boy.”
Hurley met his wife, Lyndsey, when they were both students at Texas A&M. They have been married for three years now and are excited to welcome a child of their own. The couple currently resides in Spring, Texas, a short drive northwest of Houston.
While he is currently on a self-imposed break from touring, he can still be found on the golf courses in the area, just in a different capacity. Hurley has been working as a caddy at both The Club at Carlton Woods, a Houston-area course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, and Bluejack National, the first Tiger Woods-designed course in the United States. The two courses are among the most prestigious courses in Texas, with The Club at Carlton Woods being recognized as a top-ten golf course by Golf Digest.
Hurley certainly misses touring and trying to make the PGA Tour, but he admitted that the work as a caddy has its perks.
“It’s nice to stay home and be with your wife,” he said. “It’s nice to be there when she needs me.”
Hurley has spent the five years since his graduation working to improve his game. He has steadily improved and has nearly broke through to the PGA Tour multiple times.
Hurley considers the 2009 National Championship a “springboard to the pros” for him and his former Aggie teammates. He finished tied for 30th in individual stroke play, while former teammate and current FedEx Cup competitor Bronson Burgoon was the only Aggie to place higher, finishing 18th.
Since 2009, Hurley has spent time on the Adam’s Golf Pro Tour Series, the Web.com Tour, and various mini-tours. Most recently, he competed in the Southwest Louisiana Open, an Adam’s Tour event in March. Unfortunately, he failed to make the cut in that event. Although he was unsuccessful in the event and then decided to take a break from golf, he is still regularly trying to improve.
“It takes constant improvement and work to get better everyday,” Hurley said. “It takes a lot of self-motivation and determination to play at the highest level. I always strive to be the best I can.”
When looking back on his career so far, Hurley has many great memories. He has five wins on various mini-tours, three wins in Sioux Center, Iowa and he won the Iowa Open in 2012. He spent 2013 on the Web.com Tour, the developmental tour for the PGA Tour, and nearly made it back on to the same tour, making it to the second stage of the tour’s qualifying school.
He collected a win in 2015 at the Gateway Buick GMC Classic, a stop on the Adam’s Tour. He has also qualified for more well-known events like the Phoenix Open and just barely missed the cut for the U.S. Open. Despite all of his professional accomplishments so far in his young career, Hurley still claims the collegiate national championship he won with his teammates in 2009 as his favorite moment as a golfer.
When asked of his future plans, Hurley has no definite plans to make another run at one of the bigger pro tours at this time. He does intend to keep playing competitively some and is considering an event in Sioux Falls, S.D. later this year. He is constantly trying to find ways to improve his game. He will also stay on as a caddy at least through the rest of the summer. The only long-term plans he is certain of, however, is becoming a family man.
“I’m really just looking forward to being a dad,” Hurley said.