Among the 29 male winners selected in the spring, 14 of the recipients competed on the Division I level. Only two of those 14 student-athletes were golfers, Navy's Hurley and University of Georgia grad Ryan Hybl. Hurley, who was named a 2004 Second-Team At-Large Academic All-American and the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, graduated from the Naval Academy in May with a 3.71 cumulative GPA as a quantitative economics major.
"It's an honor to receive a postgraduate scholarship from the NCAA," said Hurley, who is currently competing in the 46th Annual Porter Cup played at the Niagara Falls Country Club. "I'm honored that the NCAA thought I was a worthy candidate. I'm pleased to have earned an award which recognizes athletics, as well as academics."
"It's a well-deserved award for Billy," said Navy golf coach Pat Owen. "Billy embodies everything of what a true student-athlete is."
A four-time All-Patriot League selection and 2004 PING Honorable Mention All-American, Hurley is one of the finest golfers in the program's history. Of the 51 collegiate meets in which he participated during his four-year career, he produced seven wins, finished in the top five 25 times and the top 10 31 times. Awarded the Academy's Thompson Trophy Cup, presented to that midshipman, male or female, who has done the most during the year to promote athletics at the Naval Academy, he added to his lengthy list of accomplishments when he learned he was the recipient of the 2004 Byron Nelson Award. Additionally, he was one of the first-two players to be named to the 2004 Palmer Cup presented by Monster Team and is the first player to represent a service academy in the annual Ryder Cup-style competition. He was also on the watch list for the 2004 The Ben Hogan Award and was named the 2004 Patriot League Player of the Year after capturing the Patriot League Tournament title.
Hurley, who garnered PING Mid-Atlantic Region recognition for the second-consecutive season, completed his collegiate career in mid-May when he placed 14th at the 2004 NCAA East Region Championship in New Haven, Conn.