On this day, In 1945 Ben Hogan won the Orlando Open by 6 strokes over Jug McSpaden

Orlando
Pictured is the golfing contingent that played at the Orlando Open, won by Ben Hogan arriving at the Miami Airport to play the Miami Open. Fellow golfer Johnny Bulla piloted the plane named “The Golfer”. Ben is sitting in the first row, third from the right.

This Day in Hogan History: 

BEN WINS THE FIRST ORLANDO OPEN IN 1945

By: Mark Baron – On December 2, 1945, Ben Hogan shot a final round 67 to win the inaugural Orlando Open played on the Dubsdread Golf Club in Florida by beating the same person he beat in a playoff the week before, Harold “Jug” McSpaden, by six strokes for prize money of $2,000 in war bonds ($1,500 cash equivalent).  This was his fifth and final victory in 1945 since his return to full time tournament play in August, entering in just sixteen events.  However, it was just a warm up for 1946 when he goes on a terror and wins 13 tournaments, the money title and Vardon Trophy.

Pictured is Ben Hogan putting on the green ad Dubsdread Golf Club at the inaugural Orlando Open in 1945

In the first round, Les Kennedy a young relatively unknown pro from Pawtucket, Rhode Island shot a 63, one stroke off the course record to take the early lead.  Ben finished six strokes back with a 69.

In the second round, Herman Keiser shot a 69 for a two round total of 135, to take a two stroke lead over Sam Snead and Ky Laffoon at 137.  Ben matched his first round total of 69 to finish in a tie for third at 138.

In the third round Ben shot a six-under-par 65 to take a three stroke lead over Herman Keiser and Ky Laffoon.  Keiser held the lead at the beginning of the round but could do no better than an even par 71.  Sam Snead shot a disappointing 74 to fall out of contention.  Hogan was five under par for the round after the outward nine and added another birdie on the inward nine for a 31 – 34 round.  He birdied the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eight and thirteenth holes and in typical Hogan style, parred all the other holes.

In the final round Ben shot a four-under-par 67 for a four round total of 270.  Hogan provided a lot of excitement for the gallery of over 5,000 on the 471-yard par five fourth hole after reaching the green in two shots and sinking a 20 footer for eagle three.  Again on the 505 par five, eighteenth hole he provided some spectacular shot-making when he hit his second shot over the green and then came back with a pitch shot to within two feet of the cup sinking the putt for a birdie four.

Mark Baron

Mark Baron is a Ben Hogan expert who posts daily about the legend. Check out Mark's huge following on the Ben Hogan Facebook Page and stay tuned for special Hogan anniversaries for Mark's insight. Check out the page here: www.facebook.com/benhogangolf

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