Hogan Conquers a Brutal Oakland Hills
Hogan was talking about Oakland Hills near Detroit in 1951, known as 'Oakland Hells,' or more simply, 'The Thing.' He roundly criticized it for handicapping 'long hitters by taking away the premium they've been working all their life.' The course was set up extremely difficult for this U.S. Open.
Hogan was the defending champion, having won a playoff for the 1950 championship against George Fazio and Lloyd Mangrum. Bantam Ben had been at the course for a full week practicing to get to know the nuances. It would be a very trying tournament, with par very definitely a good score and over-par scores very definitely the norm.
Hogan had a fat 76 the first round, trailing leader Sam Snead, who had a 1-over-par 71. And Hogan still trailed at the halfway point after shooting 73 the second round. That was in the days of the traditional 36-hole Saturday finale. Hogan teed at 8:30 a.m. in the third round Saturday and after nine holes he had shot 32 and stood just two off the lead.
But Hogan couldn't sustain it and by the end of the third round finished at 1-over 71. Heading in the fourth round, he was 10-over 220. However, that was just two off the lead, which was jointly held by Johnny Bulla and Dave Douglas.
The final round was one of the highest scoring in Open history. Hogan bogeyed the second hole to drop to 11-over, but birdied at the seventh. He finished the turn in 1? hours still two shots off the pace, and new leader Bobby Locke was just completing his third round when Hogan teed off at the 10th in the afternoon. Hogan bashed a 2-iron to the shadow of the cup, and the crowd's roar unnerved Locke on No. 1. He bogeyed, Hogan birdied, and the two were suddenly tied.
Ben would birdie the 13th, stumble with a bogey the 14th, and birdie the 15th to soar to the top of the leader board. And at the 18th, Hogan watched in silence as his 15-footer tumbled slowly, ever so slowly, until it dropped into the cup for another bird.
Hogan had shot a 67, the only sub-par round of the tournament to that point, and then he had to wait two hours to know his final fate.
Locke would fizzle out. Clayton Heafner birdied No. 15 to get within two, but he couldn't get closer.
'Yes,' said Hogan, 'I would say this is my greatest round.' He had done it, won the 1951 U.S. Open at Oakland Hells - er, Hills.
More U.S. Open History
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18