Sports

US Open countdown: Ben Hogan slams rest of Open field for his third major title in 1953

53rd U.S. Open | June 11-13, 1953

Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

Leaderboard

Ben Hogan, United States 67 - 72 - 73 - 71 283
Sam Snead, United States 72 - 69 - 72 - 76 289
Lloyd Mangrum, United States 73 - 70 - 74 - 75 292
Pete Cooper, United States 78 - 75 - 71 - 70 294
Jimmy Demaret, United States 71 - 76 - 71 - 76 294
George Fazio, United States 70 - 71 - 77 - 76 294

It was the year a ball-striking whiz from Texas accomplished what is known as the “Hogan Slam.”

What is the Hogan Slam? Well, Ben Hogan won three professional majors in 1953 — the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club by five strokes, this U.S. Open at Oakmont by six shots, and the British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland by four strokes.

In order to have completed the “Grand Slam,” Hogan would have needed to win the PGA Championship. That was impossible because the PGA Championship (July 1-7) overlapped with the British Open (July 6-10).

Plus, after his serious car accident in 1949, Hogan could not play multiple days of 36 holes that the PGA Championship required — so he skipped it later in his career.

On the final day of this national open, Hogan surged ahead with a third-round 67 in the morning to grab a one-shot lead over the hard-luck Sam Snead. By the afternoon, it became a two-man race to the finish line.

With nine holes to go, Hogan still led by one stroke, but he rolled in a 25-foot putt at the 13th hole for a birdie and a two-shot lead.

Snead never did mount a serious charge, struggling to a back-nine 38. And Hogan drove the green at the 17th hole — a short, uphill par 4, and two-putted from 40 feet for another birdie.

And at the finishing hole, Hogan coaxed in a 6-footer for a final birdie to complete a back-nine 33, and win the U.S. Open for a fourth time in six years. And those three wins in ’53 were the final major titles of his career.

Only one other golfer – Tiger Woods in 2000 – has won three majors in the same season.

A Pittsburgh-area amateur named Arnold Palmer made his U.S. Open debut at Oakmont, missing the cut.

todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

• All the latest news and what to expect at the upcoming U.S. Open at Chambers Bay at thenewstribune.com/chambers-bay

  Comments