This Day in Hogan History: The 1941 Chicago Open
By: Mark Baron – On July 20, 1941 Ben Hogan shot a final round 69 to win the Chicago Open at the Elmhurst Country Club, going went wire-to-wire as over 8,000 people lined the fairways to watch Ben take home the $1,200 first prize. In the third round Craig Wood a former Masters and U.S. Open champion made up six strokes in the first 13 holes to tie Hogan. Wood bogeyed the par-4 14th and the 18th, while Hogan birdied the 17th and 18th to take a four-stroke lead with the afternoon’s final round to come. Wood shot a second straight 4-under-par 67 in the final round but it wasn’t enough to catch Ben as he shot a second straight 2-under par 69, including a brilliant par save on the 13th hole, to finish at 10-under- par 274. Dick Metz, the tournament’s defending champion was five strokes back of Hogan.
Ben went on to win his second money title in a row that year. His victory was the 51st consecutive tournament where Ben finished in the money. He began his streak in 1940 when he led the tour in money earned with $10,655 and was awarded the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average. As of this date his earnings for the year totaled $11,517; Craig Wood at second with $7,616, followed by Sam Snead with $6,541; Byron Nelson $6,475; Johnny Bulla $6,346 and Clayton Heafner $5,155. Ben was leading the Vardon Derby with 383 points, 83 points ahead of second place Crag Wood. Byron Nelson was third with 270, followed by Sam Snead with 249, Vick Ghezzi, 170; Clayton Heafner 158; and Lloyd Mangrum 149.
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