Father of Billy Hurley III found dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound

Willard Hurley Jr., father of PGA Tour professional Billy Hurley III, has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a statement from the player's agency.

He was 61 and died in Virginia.

"I want to thank the PGA Tour, the greater golf media, and all those who provided their support, prayers, and encouragement," Billy Hurley said via statement. "The PGA Tour community has always taken great care of us, and my family and I are very grateful for that. As soon as I am able, I will return to golf and will provide further comment."

Two weeks ago, the retired Leesburg, Virginia, police sergeant made national headlines when he left his home without warning and failed to return phone calls from his family. After missing for eight days, his son issued a tearful public plea for help prior to competing in the Quicken Loans National.

Three days later, Willard Hurley was found in Texarkana, Texas, unharmed, watching Billy play golf on a computer in a public library. He simply told authorities that he was "traveling."

Billy Hurley is not in this week's PGA Championship field. He was notified of his father's death on Wednesday afternoon, and has joined his family in Leesburg.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Billy and his loved ones during this very difficult time," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "We grieve with them as we would the loss of any member of our extensive PGA Tour family."

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