This Day in Hogan History: 1941 HERSEY OPEN VICTORY
By: Mark Baron – On August 31, 1941, Ben shot a final round 70 to win the Hershey Open earning $1,200.00 at the Hershey Country Club in Hershey Pennsylvania, by five strokes over Lloyd Mangrum. It was the first time Ben played this tournament as the host Professional, having taken the job during the previous winter from Henry Picard at his recommendation.
In the first round, Ben tied the back-nine record of 32 and finished with a 69 to end up in a four-way tie along with Clayton Heafner, George Fazio and Harry Nettlebladt. Fourteen of the pros broke par and four equaled it.
In the second round, Ben shot a brilliant 67 to finish at 136, two shot in front of Lloyd Mangrum in second place. Jack Grout, the former assistant pro at Hersey, with a 66, shot the low round of the day. This was the 54th consecutive tournament that Ben made the cut and earned money.
In the third round Ben shot four under par 69 for a 54-hole total of 205 – 14 under par. He led the tournament by three strokes over Lloyd Mangrum, who also tied the back nine record of 32 during this round. Hogan found himself bunkered in sand four times and had to play safe out of a clump of trees during this round, not your typical Hogan golf, but his putter saved the round. He birdied the 12th, 13th, 14th and 17th holes for an incoming 33.
In the fourth round, Ben simply overpowered the length of the Hershey Country Club, by shooting a three under par 70 to win the tournament by five strokes over Lloyd Mangrum. He birdied the seventh, thirteenth and eighteenth holes. He was involved in a humorous moment during the tournament. The huge gallery followed Ben on every hole and on the tenth tee, one of the fans stopped him and tried to sell him a ducat. His 275 total was five shot under the record set by Picard in 1937. Ben was very satisfied with his long and straight wood shots. Hogan was quoted: “That tee shot is the open door and don’t forget it. You get a good tee shot, it sets up your iron play which in turn set up that putt. You’ve got to have an all-around game of course, but I think it’s my wood shots that do the trick for me.”
Hogan earned $1,200.00 for the victory giving him the tour-leading total of $13,933 for the year.
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