Talented Hurst Rockets Into Pro Career

By  //  April 2, 2012

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA  Vicky Hurst is searching for that elusive first victory on the LPGA Tour. Don’t bet against her in 2012.

Hurst, who will turn 22 on June 19, has been willing to put in the work since taking up the sport as a young child and is a possible nominee for enshrinement in the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in May.

The 5-foot-8 graduate of Holy Trinity Espiscopal Academy in Melbourne turned pro at the age of 17 in 2008 and won five events and $93,107 on the Futures Tour before joining the LPGA Tour for the 2009 season.

During her one-year tenure on the Futures Tour, Hurst won the Jalapeno Golf Classic, the Michelob Ultra Futures Players Championship, the Horseshoe Casino Classic, the Cigna Golf Classic and the Duramed Invitational.

Gaining experience

As a 7th grader at West Shore Jr./Sr. High School in the fall of 2002, Hurst gained valuable experience by finishing tied for 13th in the Class 1A Girls Golf Championship with rounds of 79 and 76 for 11-over 155. She shot 77 to win the district championship that season.

The next year, after transferring to Holy Trinity, Hurst was a district runner-up and did not reach the state tournament. She shot 72 to miss qualifying for the state tournament by one stroke. Trinity Prep’s Marie Bos shot 71 to win the district tournament.

One year later as a freshman, Hurst tied for 16th in the Class 1A Girls Golf Championship. She shot rounds of 76 and 77 to finish at 9-over 153. Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton St. Andrew’s, a future U.S. Solheim Cup teammate, won the event with rounds of 66 and 62 to finish at 16-under 128.

In 2005, Hurst won the Florida Women’s State Golf Association Junior Girls Championship and she was named the FWSGA Junior Player of the Year. That fall, in the Class 1A Girls Golf Championship, Hurst and Pressel each shot rounds of 67 and 67 to finish regulation at 10-under 134. Pressel eventually won in a playoff.

State champ

Hurst came back in her junior year to win her lone state title in high school golf. She shot rounds of 71 and 64 to beat Megan McChrystal of Jensen Beach by four strokes at 9-under 135.

Earlier that year, Hurst was the runner-up at the U.S. Girls Championship and she tied for second at the FWSGA Junior Girls Championship. She also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time.

As a senior in the fall of 2007, Hurst fell short by one stroke to Plantation American Heritage’s Kyle Roig, who shot rounds of 70 and 72 to finish at 2-under 142. Hurst shot 71 and 72 to finish at 1-under 143. During that year, Hurst prevailed in three American Junior Golf Association events and qualified for her second U.S. Women’s Open. She also earned a berth on the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team and for the Canon Cup as a member of the East Team.

Hurst finished the year as the top-ranked amateur in the Polo Golf Rankings and was named the 2007 AJGA Player of the Year.

Several schools from around the country tried to coax Hurst to compete for their programs, but she decided to turn professional and compete on the Futures Tour after winning the event in the Futures Tour qualifying school.

New year

The 2008 Holy Trinity graduate missed the cut in the Women’s Australian Open to begin the 2012 LPGA season before coming back to finish 30th in the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

Hurst tied for eighth and won $33,030 in the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. She shot rounds of 69, 73, 71 and 69 to finish at 6-under 282.

In 2009, her first season the LPGA Tour, Hurst made 21 of 26 cuts to earn $305,773 to place 44th on the money list. She finished among the top 10 three times and led the tour in driving distance at 272.5 yards. Her best finish was a fifth-place tie. She also recorded her best round on the LPGA Tour with a score of 63 in the Corning Classic. She averaged 71.76 per round.

In 2010, Hurst finished second in the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea. The second-place finish, her best on the LPGA Tour, was special since her mother, Koko, was born in South Korea. Na Yeon Choi shot 10-under 206 to beat Hurst by two strokes at Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course.

Hurst earned $409,655 in 2010 to place 28th on the LPGA Tour’s money list. She made 19 of 24 cuts and averaged 72.99 per round.

Making the cut

In 2011, Hurst made 17 of 22 cuts and her best finish was a tie for fifth. She earned $201,425 to finish 45th on the money list. She averaged 72.99 per round.

Rosie Jones, Juli Inkster and Sherri Steinhauer named Hurst to the United States Solheim Cup team for 2011. Hurst defeated Melissa Reid of Europe 2 up in singles before falling in doubles 5 and 4 with Brittany Lincicome as the U.S. lost 15-13 to Europe.

Koko Hurst gave birth to her daughter just shortly after playing a round of golf at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Koko’s water broke on the 16th hole. Joe Hurst, Vicky’s father, met Koko while he was stationed in South Korea in the 1980s. The retired Air Force colonel died of a massive stroke in April 2006.

In majors, Hurst’s top finishes are 41st in the 2011 Kraft Masters, a tie for 51st in the 2010 LPGA Championship, a tie for 41st in the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open and a tie for 28th in both the 2009 and 2011 Women’s British Open.

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