Ed. note: This look back at the 1950 U.S. Open – during the week that the 120th edition had been scheduled at Winged Foot – is the third in a series of remembrances of memorable years in tournament history.
Ben Hogan needed four days, five rounds and 356 strokes to capture the 1950 U.S. Open on the East Course of the Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia. It took every ounce of energy, every fiber of his being, to get the job done.
That’s because the Hawk was a broken man. Just 16 months before, the car he was driving collided head-on with a Greyhound bus on a fog-shrouded highway outside the West Texas town of Van Horn, almost killing Hogan and his wife Valerie. Even after setting the broken bones in his pelvis, collarbone and left ankle and treating blood clots in his lungs, doctors expressed serious doubts about the 36-year-old golfer ever walking again. Though he was able to beat those odds, Hogan was still so damaged that he needed long, warm baths in Epsom salts before each round as well as extensive leg rubs. He also wore...
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