Missing father of PGA golfer found safe in Texas

The father of professional golfer Billy Hurley III was found safe in Texas after he had been missing for nearly two weeks, police said on Friday.

Willard Hurley, Jr., 61, was found unharmed and told police in Leesburg, Virginia, he had simply been traveling. Police had traced him to Texarkana, Texas before a citizen who’d seen his picture spotted him Friday and called local police.

The elder Hurley spoke to Leesburg police by phone, but didn’t provide many details, said Lt. Jeff Dube, a police spokesman.

"He's safe and sound and he wasn't very talkative," Dube said. "He's free to come and go as he pleases. He decided to take a trip for one reason or another. The big thing is that he's been located and his family's been notified that he's OK physically."

Willard Hurley didn’t explain why he left his home without informing his family; he also didn’t say why he was in Texas or whether he planned to return home, police said.

Billy Hurley told reports about his missing father in a teary-eyed press conference Tuesday. He played the first two rounds of the Quicken Loans National without knowing his father’s whereabouts. He shot a 70 on Friday to make the cut for the weekend and was informed after his round that his father had been located.

"Ironically, he was found in a public library watching me play golf on a computer," Hurley told Golf Channel.

He said in Tuesday’s press conference his father got into his truck with some cash and clothes and drove away from his home in Leesburg on July 19. He was reported missing by Hurley's mother on July 27.

The decision to announce his father's disappearance made a big difference, Dube said. The photo of Hurley's father was widely disseminated, getting hundreds of thousands of views on social media.

"No doubt, who he was and who his son is played a part in that, and the fact that his son pleaded for his return," Dube said. "That obviously helped the person who recognized him."

The younger Hurley grew up in Leesburg, and his father spent more than 25 years as a police officer in the area. Hurley said his father didn't have any known mental health problems.

The 33-year-old Hurley is a Naval Academy graduate who earned his PGA Tour card after serving as a Naval officer for five years. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Dube said police considered the matter closed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.