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Hurst had a standout amateur career. In 2005 she won the Florida Women's State Golf Association Junior Girls' Championship, was named the FWSGA Junior Player of the Year and finished second at the Florida high school girls golf championship. In 2006 she was runner-up at the United States Girls' Junior Golf Championship and tied for second at the FWSGA Junior Girls' Championship. Also in 2006, she qualified for the U.S. Open, three weeks after turning 15. She was named Florida Junior Player of the Year in 2006-07 and qualified again for the U.S. Open in 2007. In 2007 she won three American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events, and earned spots on the 2007 U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team and Canon Cup, representing the East Team. She ended 2007 as the top-ranked amateur in the Polo Golf Rankings and was named the 2007 AJGA Player of the Year.
In the fall of 2007 at the start of her senior year in high school, Hurst faced a choice between pursuing a college golf career, for which she was heavily recruited by coaches, and turning professional. She participated in, and won, the Futures Tour Qualifying school in November. In December she announced that she would skip college and join the Futures Tour in 2008, while completing high school at the same time. She also received sponsor exemptions to three LPGA Tour events in 2008, missing the cut in two of the events and finishing tied for 21st in the third.
In 2008, she competed full-time on the Futures Tour, winning five times and setting a Tour record for single season earnings with $93,107. She was named Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year and automatically qualified for full playing status on the LPGA Tour for the 2009 season. Her first tournament as an LPGA member was the 2009 season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay at which she finished tied for 15th and led the field in driving distance.