Ben Hogan wins the Portland Open by 14 strokes!
Ben Hogan, fired a sub par round of 64 for his final round of the Portland Open. Hogan, of Hershey, Pennsylvania won the event with a then record score of 261 over 72 holes. Ben made a sterling finish that saw him at -27 under par after the four rounds. His next closest competitor was Byron Nelson, who was 14 strokes back.
This being 1946 was just three years before Hogans car accident that “almost claimed his and his wife’s life. Hogan and his wife, Valerie, survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus on a fog-shrouded bridge, early in the morning, east of Van Horn, Texas on February 2, 1949. He threw himself across Valerie in order to protect her, and would have been killed had he not done so, as the steering column punctured the driver’s seat.
This accident left Hogan, age 36, with a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots: he would suffer lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations. His doctors said he might never walk again, let alone play golf competitively. While in hospital, Hogan’s life was endangered by a blood clot problem, leading doctors to tie off thevena cava. Hogan left the hospital on April 1, 59 days after the accident.
After regaining his strength by extensive walking, he resumed golf activities in November 1949. He returned to the PGA Tour to start the 1950 season, at the Los Angeles Open, where he tied with Sam Snead over 72 holes, but lost the 18-hole playoff.